A cougar has tested positive for the coronavirus, the first such instance in the United States. And a tiger at the same Texas facility that exhibits wild animals also tested positive, the Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday.
After several cats at the facility, which the department did not name, began coughing and wheezing, the facility took samples for testing.
The National Veterinary Services Laboratory confirmed the infection in the two cats. While several tigers in the United States have caught the virus, along with lions, snow leopards and many domestic cats, this was the first report of a cougar.
The animals have mild symptoms and are expected to recover, according to the announcement, as have other zoo cats that have been infected with the virus.
Dogs, mink and gorillas have also caught the coronavirus in the United States. The Agriculture department keeps a list, updated weekly, of all confirmed tests.
Farmed mink infected with the virus have passed it to humans in some cases, which caused Denmark to cull its entire farmed mink population, about 17 million. There is no evidence of domestic or zoo animals passing the virus to humans, and advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention largely concerns how people who have Covid-19 should avoid infecting their pets.
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