KNOXVILLE,Tenn. — A tiger at Zoo Knoxville tested positive for the COVID-19 virus with two other Tigers possibly infected.
Knoxville Zoo confirmed its 11-year-old adult male Malayan Tiger, Bashir, contracted SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The other two tigers, 6-year-old Arya and 11-year-old Tanvir are presumed positive until their test results come back.
The zoo said the animals showed mild symptoms of lethargy, coughing, and loss of appetite.
It is believed that the tigers caught the virus from a staff member.
“We are working with the Knoxville County Department of Health, the Tennessee State Department of Health to try to pinpoint how the tigers caught the disease, but at this time we are presuming that they caught the disease from an asymptomatic staff member,” the zoo said.
All three Tigers are isolated until diagnostic tests come back negative.
No other zoo animals are showing symptoms of the virus.
The tigers are recovering under the care of a veterinary team from UT’s College of Veterinary Medicine and are showing little to no symptoms, the zoo said.
“The cats are feeling better they are eager to get out of quarantine, their risk to the public is low to nothing and we really appreciate everyone’s support,” the zoo said.
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