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San Diego Zoo Safari Park: Sumatran tigers exposed to COVID-19

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Posted at 10:26 AM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 13:26:51-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego Zoo Safari Park officials are closely monitoring a group of Sumatran tigers that they believe has been exposed to COVID-19.

In a statement, a San Diego Wildlife Alliance spokesperson said that some of the tigers have had a cough and a COVID-19 test from fecal samples was positive for the virus.

Zoo officials said because of the group's tight-knit nature, they are assuming all six of their tigers have been exposed. The group has been quarantining together in their shared habitat since last week as veterinary experts monitor any symptoms.

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"The potentially affected tigers are not showing any concerning signs of illness other than intermittent cough, fatigue, and occasionally decreased appetite, and have not required treatment. Our dedicated team of specialists will continue to provide the tigers the best care available - monitoring them closely and treating symptoms as they may arise. As a standard quarantine measure, the Tiger Trail habitat will be closed to Safari Park guests until further notice," the spokesperson said.

The cases come after two snow leopards at the San Diego Zoo, Naphisa and Ramil, tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Both leopards, who share a habitat, are said to be doing well and are not showing any concerning symptoms, the zoo said.

San Diego Wildlife Alliance has yet to determine how the leopards or tigers got infected.

San Diego Zoo and Safari Park staff are working to vaccinate both park's wildlife populations. According to the organization, "all susceptible species at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and the San Diego Zoo either have already had or are scheduled to have received their first vaccine within the coming days."