- San Diego Zoo made the decision to carry out tests on the primates when two of them started coughing on Wednesday, January 6, 2020
- The primates are suspected to have been infected by a staff member who is asymptomatic, as the zoo has continued to observe all recommended COVID-19 precautions
- The facility management explained it was reviewing its protocols and finding better ways to improve the conditions at the park to protect the other animals
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As the number of those infected with Coronavirus hits the 90 million mark with over 1.9 million dead, the pandemic seems to be spreading to other animals that interact with humans.
This is after a zoo in San Diego, California, issued a statement that pointed to a number of their gorillas testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The results were confirmed by the Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the National Veterinary Services Laboratories on Monday, January 11.
San Diego Zoo made the decision to carry out tests on the primates when two of them started coughing on Wednesday, January 6, 2020.
The report further indicated that the presence of the virus in members of their gorilla troop could point to the same being in the others that tested negative.
"Gorilla troops live together in both our zoological natural habitat and the wild, and we have to assume, as we do with human families, that all members of the family group have been exposed," read the statement.
The primates are suspected to have been infected by a staff member who is asymptomatic, as the zoo has continued to observe all recommended precautions put in place to mitigate against the spread of COVID-19.
Some of these protocols include wearing PPEs, frequent hand washing, physical distancing and heightened cleaning protocols whenever they are in close proximity to the animals.
"Aside from some congestion and coughing, the gorillas are doing well and remain together. They are eating and drinking, and we are hopeful for a full recovery," read the report in part.
The facility's management requested citizens to keep the animals and wildlife care professionals in their thoughts as they navigate the difficult period.
It also explained that it was reviewing its protocols and finding better ways to improve the conditions at the park to protect the other animals.
This includes vaccinations for wildlife care staff, boosted by the fact that the team members recently had approvals to receive the vaccination.
Members of the public took to social media to wish the members of staff and primates well as the zoo works on their medication.
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