Covid, the baby tiger born in a Mexican zoo

The cub was born in a small zoo in Córdoba that specializes in rescuing exotic animals

Covid, the baby Bengal tiger born in a Mexican zoo
The cub was born in Veracruz – Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 28/03/2020 10:18 Reuters Mexico City Tamara Corro, Ana Isabel Martínez, Dave Graham & Leslie Adler/REUTERS Actualizada 10:30
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The rare birth of a baby tiger called “Covid” has brought a glimmer of hope to a private zoo in eastern Mexico even as normal life seizes up in the country to contain the deadly coronavirus that inspired his name.

Named by the family that owns the zoo as the global pandemic intensified, Bengal tiger Covid was born on March 14 in a small zoo in the city of Córdoba that specializes in rescuing animals from circuses and exotic private collections.

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The coronavirus causes the respiratory disease COVID-19, which is often used synonymously with the virus.

The tiger’s birth came as a surprise to everyone, said Kitzia Rodríguez, daughter of the zoo owner and a vet there.

“We didn’t know he was on the way,” Rodríguez told Reuters.

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“He’s going to have a big impact because the situation right now is difficult for everyone, even for us,” she said. “But I think the birth, in spite of the situation, will help us and gives us hope to carry on, so we can have visitors. Covid was a gift.”

The BioZoo in the state of Veracruz is still operating even as public life slowly winds down in Mexico to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed over 22,000 people worldwide.

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Covid was born to an 8-year-old tigress that had been in a circus and was nursed back to health after needing an operation for a hip fracture, said zoo owner Gonzalo Rodríguez.

The cub’s father, age 6, joined the shelter after hurting his mouth by biting into a vase at the private home where he was kept, said Rodríguez, who has run the zoo for over two decades.

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