In Indonesia, two male Sumatran tigers are recovering from coronavirus after testing positive in mid-July, with officials trying to determine how infected they are.
Jakarta city officials say two seriously endangered Sumatran tigers tested positive for coronavirus at a zoo in the Indonesian capital, but are expected to recover.
Nine-year-old Tino and 12-year-old Hari have been given medication and are under the supervision of veterinarians at the Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta Parks and Urban Forest Agency head Suzi Marsitawati said on Sunday.
Tino starts showing symptoms on July 9, including sneezing, breathing problems and a decrease in appetite. Two days later, Hari starts showing the same tone.
Marsitawati said samples taken from the animals on July 14 are positive for the virus.
The two large cats that are endangered are considered to be the first known cases in Indonesia of animals contracting COVID-19.
‘The two tigers have been receiving medication, including antibiotics and multivitamins, since they started showing symptoms. “After 12 days of medication, their conditions started to improve and they are expected to recover,” Marsitawati said.
“Their appetite has returned and they are active again.”
She added in a statement that the zoo was still trying to track down how the tigers were exposed as the facility was closed under the pandemic-related restrictions of Jakarta when the cats started showing symptoms.
“We tracked down all caretakers and zoo staff on duty when the tigers started getting sick, but so far none of them have been exposed to COVID-19,” Marsitawati said.
The Sumatran tiger is the only remaining tiger subspecies of Indonesia, and only 600 remain. The other two subspecies – the Javan tiger and the Bali tiger – are extinct.
Indonesia was Southeast Asia’s hardest hit land during the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 3.4 million infections and about 94,000 deaths.