2 rare Sumatran tigers recovering after catching COVID-19

Science News

In this photo released by Jakarta Province Government, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan visits one of the two Sumatran tigers that contracting COVID-19 at the Ragunan Zoo in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 31, 2021. Two rare Sumatran tigers at the zoo in the Indonesian capital are recovering after being infected with COVID-19. (Dadang Kusuma WS/Jakarta province Government via AP)

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Two rare Sumatran tigers at the zoo in the Indonesian capital are recovering after being infected with COVID-19.

Nine-year-old Tino became ill with shortness of breath, sneezing, and a runny nose on July 9. He also lost his appetite.

Two days later, 12-year-old Hari was showing the same symptoms.

Swabs were taken and results came back positive for COVID-19, Suzi Marsitawati from the Jakarta Parks and Forestry Agency said in a statement on Sunday.

The tigers were immediately treated with antibiotics, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory drugs and multivitamins. They were getting better after 10-12 days, and have now recovered under close observation at Jakarta’s Ragunan Zoo.

“Their condition is good now. Their appetite has returned and they’re being active,” Marsitawati said.

Sumatran tigers are the most critically endangered tiger subspecies and are under increasing pressure as their jungle habitat shrinks.

Marsitawati said the Jakarta government is trying to find out how the tigers were infected, because the zoo has been closed as part of coronavirus restrictions. There was no infection among the caretakers and other zoo staff, she said.

Indonesia has become Asia’s hot spot with a record number of coronavirus cases in the region.

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