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John Ball Zoo tiger tests positive for COVID-19

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A 16-year old Amur tiger housed at Grand Rapids’ John Ball Zoo has tested positive for COVID-19. Nika tested positive and was showing signs of illness the same day she was scheduled to receive her second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Most of the zoos large and small carnivores are either completely vaccinated of scheduled for their second dose.

While the staff follows safety protocols including the use of masks and vaccinations, it’s believed the virus was spread by a pre-symptomatic, positive member of the zoo’s animal care team.

Zoo officials are cautiously optimistic Nika will make a full recovery.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.