Tiger at Columbus Zoo dies from COVID-19 complications, zoo says

Jupiter, a 14-year-old Amur tiger, is the first animal at the zoo to die from a COVID-19...
Jupiter, a 14-year-old Amur tiger, is the first animal at the zoo to die from a COVID-19 related illness, the zoo said in a Facebook post.(Grahm S. Jones | Columbus Zoo and Aquarium via CNN Newsource)
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 8:20 AM PDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Gray News) – A tiger at the Columbus Zoo died Sunday from pneumonia complications caused by COVID-19, the zoo announced Wednesday.

Jupiter, a 14-year-old Amur tiger, is the first animal at the zoo to die from a COVID-19 related illness, the zoo said in a Facebook post.

Jupiter had been on long-term treatment for chronic underlying illnesses, making him more susceptible to catching COVID-19 and suffering complications.

The zoo said Jupiter appeared sick June 22 and was put under anesthesia for examination and treatment. Medical staff found pneumonia, and treatment was started immediately.

For a few days, Jupiter was not responding to treatments and continued to not move or eat. Although he appeared stable, the big cat died overnight Sunday.

Jupiter was born at the Moscow Zoo in 2007. He arrived at the Columbus Zoo in 2015. He fathered nine cubs in his lifetime, six of which were born at the Columbus Zoo.

The zoo said Jupiter will be remembered as a big and impressive tiger who loved fish, sleeping in the habitat’s cave, playing with cardboard boxes and other toys. He was also known for being very friendly with the female tigers, Mara and Natasha.

The zoo said as a precautionary measure, staff members who work with cats, great apes and mustelids (such as otters and wolverines) are now required to wear masks within six feet of these animals, as they are more susceptible to contracting COVID-19.

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