Coronavirus: Gorillas at San Diego Zoo test positive for COVID

Mother gorilla Imani gestures as her daughter Joanne sits close by at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park Tuesday Jan. 27 2015 in Escondido Calif. Joanne is approaching her first birthday in March after being born via a rare emergency cesarean section. De

Members of the gorilla troop at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, Calif., are seen in their habitat on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted on its official website that there is a risk of people spreading the virus that causes Covid-19 to animals and the first US case of an animal testing positive for Covid-19 was a tiger at a NY zoo.

Three gorillas from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in California tested positive for teh COVID-19 coronavirus on Monday, according to Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture.

"Aside from some congestion and coughing, the gorillas are doing well", safari park executive director Lisa Peterson said in a statement.

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.


All confirmed cases of zoo animals contracting the coronavirus in the USA have been at AZA-accredited facilities-the Bronx Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and Louisville Zoo, which all follow strict health protocols, Ashe says. For now, they are being given vitamins, fluid and food but no specific treatment for the virus.

Officials at a zoo in the U.S. state of California say at least two of its gorillas have contracted the coronavirus. "The troop remains quarantined together and are eating and drinking".

Zoo officials are talking to experts who have been treating the coronavirus in humans in case the animals' develop more severe symptoms.

The San Diego Zoo Global veterinary team continue to observe the gorillas. "The potential for COVID-like disease outbreak in either captive or wild populations of endangered primates is pretty high", Harris Lewin, a distinguished professor of ecology and evolution at University of California, Davis, told National Geographic in November.

The safari park on Monday added more safety measures for its staff, including requiring face shields and eye goggles when working in contact with the animals.

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