Gorillas at San Diego Zoo Have Coronavirus

TUESDAY, Jan. 5, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Eight gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park that tested positive for the new coronavirus are being closely monitored and given vitamins, fluid and food, park officials said Monday.

These are the first known cases of coronavirus infection among gorillas in the United States, and possibly the world, according to the Associated Press.

It appears that the gorillas were infected by an asymptomatic member of the park’s wildlife team who wore a mask while working, said the park’s executive director, Lisa Peterson.

“Aside from some congestion and coughing, the gorillas are doing well,” she told the AP.

The park tested feces of the troop of gorillas after two apes began coughing Jan. 6, the AP reported. Positive test results were confirmed by the U.S Department of Agriculture National Veterinary Services Laboratories in three gorillas. Feces from all eight in the troop are being taken for testing, the AP reported.

Zoo officials said they are talking to experts who have been treating the coronavirus in humans, in case the animals develop more severe symptoms. They will remain together since separating them could be harmful to the gorillas, because they live in tight-knit groups.

“This is wildlife, and they have their own resiliency and can heal differently than we do,” Peterson said.

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