Bengal tiger cub Xiao Qi rests at the Jinan Zoo in Jinan, capital of east China's Shandong Province, Sept. 26, 2019. (Xinhua/Wang Kai)

Nadia, a four-year-old female Malayan tiger, had developed a dry cough before getting tested positive for COVID-19. Nadia's sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions are also being monitored for similar symptoms.

NEW YORK, April 5 (Xinhua) -- A tiger at New York City's Bronx Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19, the zoo said on Sunday.

Nadia, a four-year-old female Malayan tiger, had developed a dry cough before getting tested. Nadia's sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions are also being monitored for similar symptoms, said the zoo in a news release.

The zoo tested Nadia for COVID-19 "out of an abundance of caution" and the positive result was confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the release said.

"Though they have experienced some decrease in appetite, the cats at the Bronx Zoo are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers," said the zoo.

The animals were infected by an coronavirus-infected zoo employee who exhibited no symptom while caring for them, it added.

"It is not known how this disease will develop in big cats since different species can react differently to novel infections, but we will continue to monitor them closely and anticipate full recoveries," said the zoo.

The Bronx Zoo has been closed to the public since March 16.  ■

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