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2 Sumatran tigers recovering from COVID-19 at Jakarta zoo

Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan visits tigers Tino and Hari at Ragunan Wildlife Park over the weekend. Image courtesy of @aniesbaswedan.

  • Two Sumatran tigers tested positive for COVID-19 at a Jakarta zoo in mid-July.
  • The animals are now recovering in isolation, Jakarta’s governor announced on Sunday.
  • Zoo staff are trying to determine how the tigers contracted the disease.

A pair of Sumatran tigers are recovering from COVID-19 after testing positive for the disease at a Jakarta zoo in mid-July, Indonesian officials said on Sunday.

After the two male tigers, Tino and Hari, began showing symptoms of the disease in mid-July, staff at Ragunan Wildlife Park tested them for COVID-19, with “the world’s bravest swab officers” taking samples from the big cats and submitting them for analysis at Bogor Agricultural University outside Jakarta, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan wrote on Instagram on Sunday.

“Alhamdulillah, Hari and Tino are gradually recovering and are already active,” said Anies, who visited the zoo over the weekend and said that no other animals were known to be positive for COVID-19.

The tigers would have ample time to recover without having to rush back to their normal activities at the zoo given that Jakarta was still under restrictions from the coronavirus pandemic, Anies said.

“We pray that Allah will soon lift the ordeal of this pandemic so that all of us, including Hari and Tino, can return to activities as usual, and they can return to greet the visitors of the Ragunan Wildlife Park,” Anies said.

A Sumatran tiger in Indonesia. Only a few hundred of the critically endangered species remain in the wild, with their numbers dwindling due to poaching and habitat destruction. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.

Zoo staff are trying to figure out how the tigers contracted COVID-19. Contact tracing of the veterinarians who has turned up no leads, though zoo staff aren’t ruling out that one of the veterinarians was an asymptomatic carrier, according to Endah Rumiyati, a veterinarian who treats Hari and Tino.

Indonesia is now reeling from a devastating second wave of COVID-19 that has made the Southeast Asian country the global epicenter of the pandemic. Daily infection rates and deaths continue to rise, leaving hospitals overwhelmed and oxygen and medicine scarce.

Banner: Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan visits tigers Tino and Hari at Ragunan Wildlife Park over the weekend. Image courtesy of @aniesbaswedan.