A 14-year-old tiger at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio died of complications from COVID-19, the zoo announced on Wednesday.
The tiger named Jupiter died after developing pneumonia caused by COVID-19 complications.
"He is the first animal at the zoo to succumb to COVID-19," it said in a Facebook post.
"Jupiter had been on long-term treatment for chronic underlying illnesses, which made him more susceptible to this virus," the zoo added.
He lived a full life
Jupiter, born at the Moscow Zoo, was only two weeks shy of celebrating his 15th birthday.
He left behind nine cubs, six that were born at the Columbus Zoo, contributing to the future of this endangered species.
We're sad to share that 14-year-old Amur tiger, Jupiter, passed away on June 26 after developing pneumonia caused by the COVID-19 virus. Jupiter had been on long term treatment for chronic underlying illnesses, which made him more susceptible to the virus. https://t.co/LlwOb2yeyo pic.twitter.com/pTEmNUsm9p— Columbus Zoo (@ColumbusZoo) June 29, 2022
Siberian (Amur) Tigers, like Jupiter, live approximately 10 to 14 years in the wild. In captivity, they can live up to 20 years, but their average life expectancy is 14 to 16 years, according to the Wildcats Conservation Alliance.
Animals that are the most susceptible to contracting COVID-19 are cats, great apes and mustelids like otters and wolverines. Columbus Zoo staff working with such animals will therefore now wear masks when within six feet of these animals, the zoo stated.