Tiger at Columbus Zoo dies of COVID-19

Photo credit Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

A tiger acquired in 2015 from Russia by the Columbus Zoo has died of complications stemming from a bout with COVID-19.

Jupiter, a 14-year-old Amur tiger had an underlying condition that made him “more susceptible to the COVID-19 virus,” according to the tiger’s keepers at the zoo. Jupiter contracted the coronavirus, then as a result developed pneumonia.

The zoo released a statement to announce Jupiter’s passing, saying, “Jupiter's care team remembers him as a big and impressive tiger who loved fish, sleeping in the habitat's cave, playing with cardboard boxes.”

Another favorite activity of the big cat was “interacting with another favorite item: a 75-pound firehouse "plus sign" that was heavy for keepers to move but something he carried around like it weighed nothing,” the statement added.

Sadly, Jupiter was only about 15 weeks away from his 15th birthday. Experts say tigers like Jupiter live an average of 10-15 years in the wild, but can reach the age of 20 if cared for properly in captivity.

He is the zoo’s first animal to die from COVID.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images