Tiger at Great Plains Zoo tests positive for COVID-19

Amur tiger, Keesa (Courtesy: Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History)
Amur tiger, Keesa (Courtesy: Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History)(Dakota News Now)
Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 1:15 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History announced Thursday that one of its tigers has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The zoo says zookeepers noticed Amur tiger, Keesa, coughing last week. Zookeepers tested Keesa, and a positive result came back Wednesday.

The zoo says other big cats at the zoo have also been seen exhibiting symptoms and will be testing.

“The health of the cats is being closely monitored, and affected cats are being treated with supportive therapies for the duration of their illness,” the zoo said in a statement.

“It’s unfortunate that, in spite of the precautions taken, we are seeing this disease in several of our large cats. The speed with which it has moved between these tigers and leopards really speaks to the insidious nature of this virus. Usually, these species seem to recover well with supportive therapy, and our animal care team is working hard to make sure that our cats follow that trend,” said Louden Wright, GPZ’s Veterinarian.

All big cats have been removed from public exhibit statements.

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