Monday, 18 January, 2021


Gorillas at San Diego Zoo Safari Park test positive for coronavirus

The gorillas are said to be doing well aside from The gorillas are said to be doing well aside from"some congestion and coughing
Bennie Garza | 12 January, 2021, 05:46

The safari park tested feces of the troop of gorillas after two apes began coughing January 6.

Zoo officials were talking to experts who had been treating the coronavirus in humans in case the animals' developed more severe symptoms.

Two of San Diego Zoo's Safari Park gorillas have tested positive after showing signs of coughing and congestion, director Lisa Peterson revealed, via People.

The tests confirmed the presence of the virus in only some of the gorillas but did not rule it out in others, the zoo said. The entire troop is under observation.

They will remain together, since separating them could be harmful to the gorillas that lived in tight-knit groups. "We are hopeful for a full recovery", she shared.

But the gorillas in San Diego are believed to mark the first known case of infections confirmed in apes.

The confirmation that gorillas are susceptible to the coronavirus contributes to information about how the pandemic may affect these species in their native habitats where they come into contact with humans and human materials, the park officials said.

Peterson said that more than one gorilla had tested positive but would not provide an exact number.

They are being given vitamins, fluid and food but no specific treatment for the virus.

"As I say often to all of you, what tends to resonate in my house I want to make public to you in real time and that's the update in terms of the status of these gorillas in the San Diego Zoo", Newsom said.

Peterson says the Safari Park plans to get stricter with its protocols.

Workers are all required to wear personal protective equipment such as masks when near the gorillas, the zoo said.

That meant there was a chance the keeper could have infected the troop.

Gorillas share 98% of human DNA, while chimpanzees and bonobos share 99%.

The great apes continue to be observed closely by the San Diego Zoo Global veterinary team.

Coronavirus outbreaks have been reported at other zoos.

In April, a Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo named Nadia became the first known instance of coronavirus transmission to an animal in the United States after she was infected by a staff member who was asymptomatic. Last month, three snow leopards tested positive at the Louisville Zoo.

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