Scientists examined biomaterials taken from tigers and lions, who fell ill with coronavirus in the spring, as well as from zoo employees who had contact with animals. It turned out that animals are carriers of two different types of the virus.
The first strain of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in one of the tigers exactly matches the structure of the human coronavirus genome. The lions turned out to have a different form of coronavirus, and they brought it not from New York, but from the state of Connecticut.
Scientists hope to find out how the virus spread from humans (visitors or zoo attendants) to animals and how it spread among animals. They infected each other or each of the four tigers and three lions got sick autonomously.
The results of the study should help prevent the spread of coronavirus among wild animals.