Gorillas at a San Diego zoo test positive for COVID-19

Gorillas at a San Diego zoo test positive for COVID-19

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.

Several gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in California, the U.S. have tested positive for Covid-19, in the first known instance of natural transmission to great apes, reported the Xinhua news agency according to zoo officials yesterday.

Lisa also hypothesized that while staff has been wearing PPE around the animals for years, the gorillas could have picked it up from one who was asymptotic for the virus.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park has remained closed to the public since early December as part of the state of California's lockdown efforts to check the rise in coronavirus cases.

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

The gorillas infected at the San Diego Safari Park are western lowland gorillas, whose population declined by more than 60% over the last two decades owing to poaching and disease, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

The safari park tested feces of the troop of gorillas after two apes began coughing January 6. Zoo staff collected fecal samples and sent them to the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System. At unaccredited zoos, many of which lack the expertise and professionalism of accredited facilities, it's unknown how many animals, if any, may have contracted the virus without ever being tested. "The troop remains quarantined together and are eating and drinking".

While there is yet no credible scientific information regarding the role of animals in spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus to humans, it is known that humans can transmit the disease to animals in the event of close contact.

"Aside from some congestion and coughing, the gorillas are doing well", Peterson said, adding they are hopeful for a full recovery. "If wild gorillas or other wild apes were to contract COVID, we would expect the consequences to be much worse".

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