He is small and ferocious with a deadly name, but a Bengal tiger called Covid has given hope to a zoo in Mexico as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the world.
The cub was born last month at Bio Zoo in the eastern state of Veracruz as COVID-19 spreads like wildfire, forcing half the world’s population to stay home and devastating millions of businesses - including the privately-run zoo.
“The birth of Covid was a gift for us, an incredible gift for both Bio Zoo and us as a family - it was a bit of hope in the current situation,” said Kitzia Rodriguez, a vet at the zoo run by her family.
“It is a name of hope, of a virus that came to teach us to look after ourselves.”
Though he still struggles to stand up and constantly sticks out his tongue demanding milk, Covid is already showing his Bengal tiger roots with energetic roars.
“Covid was born very strong, he was born big, although no one knew that his mother was pregnant,” Rodriguez added.
His eight-year-old mother was rescued from a circus and had problems with her hips, making it difficult for her to get pregnant.
But a younger, lighter male succeeded where others had failed and Covid was born weighing a healthy three pounds (1.4 kilograms).