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2 tigers at Virginia zoo test positive for the coronavirus

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Posted at 10:42 AM, Apr 15, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. -- Two tigers at a zoo in Virginia have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Virginian-Pilot reported Wednesday that the Malayan tigers live at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk.

The zoo said it does not know how the big cats named Stubbley and Osceola were infected, but zookeepers are working with health officials and other experts to find out.

"The Animal Care Team first observed mild respiratory symptoms including a dry cough and wheezing in the tigers last week which were consistent with previous cases of COVID-19 in big cats diagnosed with the virus at other zoological institutions," officials posted on Facebook Wednesday. "Because of this, both the tigers were tested out of an abundance of caution."

Testing later confirmed they have COVID. Test results for a third tiger are pending.

The tigers have been removed from the exhibit and officials say there is no risk of humans catching the virus from the animals.

"Both Stubbley and Osceola are in good spirits and are receiving supportive care from our Veterinary and Animal Care Staff," zoo officials wrote. "Their symptoms appear to be improving thanks to the quick actions and decisions of animal care staff to initiate testing and wonderful care at the onset of their symptoms."

Zoo officials expect them to fully recover as tigers have at other zoos.