COVID-19 hit ZooTampa Thursday, January 6, 2022, as it announced two Malayan tigers have tested positive for the SARS-COV-2 virus.
ZooTampa said the tigers, aged 16 and 7, are being “treated and monitored around the clock,” and will remain out of public viewing until further notice. Zoo officials said out of an abundance of caution they will run COVID-19 tests on the orangutans as well.
“At this point, we are unsure how the vaccinated animals got the virus, but we have seen instances around the world where the virus has been transmitted from humans to big cats and primates even with strict biosecurity protocols in place,” stated Senior Vice President of Animal Health, Conservation and Education Dr. Cynthia Stringfield.
The zoo said it has reported the cases to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and will continue monitoring all species that may be susceptible to COVID-19.