WYLIE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – A cougar at In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educational Center has tested positive for COVID-19, the first in the U.S., according to the Texas veterinary company.
While sedated for routine medical check-ups, In-Sync Exotics’ veterinarian performed a nasopharyngeal swab to test for the presence of COVID-19. The results came back positive.READ MORE: Friends, Family Mourning Loss Of Rowlett Police Officer Darsel "Dee" Moore
Three tigers also tested positive.
In a news release, the wildlife rescue said all four exotic cats are doing well and exhibiting no symptoms. Veterinarian, staff and volunteers are closely monitoring the animals.
While the cougar may be the first of its species, there many other tigers, lions, and various other exotic animals across the country that have also tested positive for COVID-19.READ MORE: Dallas Police Senior Corporal Arnulfo Pargas Dies From COVID-19
The park instituted safety measures at the beginning if the pandemic last year: mandatory face masks by all staff, volunteers, and visitors over the age of three. Also, weekly COVID-19 testing is conducted on all staff members.
In-Sync Exotics is an outdoor park with two fences between visitors and the cats and no direct contact allowed.
There are currently no documented cases of transmission of the COVID-19 virus from feline to human or interspecies from feline to other species.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), several animals in zoological facilities have tested positive for the novel coronavirus earlier, including large cats and great apes.MORE NEWS: 83-Year-Old Irving Man Dies From West Nile Virus
Several lions and tigers in a New York zoo, a puma in South Africa, tigers in a Tennessee zoo, snow leopards at a Kentucky zoo, and gorillas at a California zoo have tested positive for the virus after showing signs of illness.