The gorillas at California San Diego Zoo National Park are confirmed to get contracted with COVID-19 on Monday. This is believed to be the first known natural transmission in primates in the US or probably the universe.
The zoo officials said that 8 gorillas live together in the park. All of the gorillas are believed to be contracted with the pandemic and some of them show clear symptoms.
San Diego Zoo National Park Confirms Positive COVID-19 Cases In Gorillas
According to reports, two gorillas were tested positive for COVID-19 after the park tested the collected samples from the gorillas. The park decided to test them as two of them were coughing since January 6.
The U.S Department of Agriculture National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed positive results in three of the gorillas.
Since a gorilla’s 98% of DNA matches with a human, it is doubtful that the species would face complications as strong as that of a man. Different studies also have found that some non-human primates are susceptible to COVID-19.
If the gorillas develop severe symptoms, the officials in the zoo will seek expert advice from doctors who have been treating humans infected with the coronavirus.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, the gorillas come under the endangered species, and the category of western lowland gorillas with a declined population of 60% over the two previous decades.
For now, the gorilla troop is kept in quarantine altogether in their habitat and provided with food and vitamins without any precise medications. They would stay in their troop as they live in tight-knit groups.
The executive director of the park Lisa Peterson said that the gorillas are doing well but with some congestion and coughing. She added that the gorillas have their own resiliency and can heal differently than a human being.
It turns out that one of the wildlife care team workers in the park was tested positive for COVID-19, but the person was asymptomatic.
The gorillas appear to have contracted the virus from this man who was around the gorillas for a long time, even though he wore a mask all the time.
As part of the Lockdown measures in California, the zoo has been closed to the public since the 6th of December.
On Monday, the park provided extra safety measures for the staff with face shields and eye goggles to wear when they are in contact with the zoo animals.
The update from California’s safari park ensures that the gorillas are susceptible to COVID-19 and additionally gives information that the species like gorillas may get contracted with deadly viruses when they come near humans and human materials.
The safari park will share every knowledge they would acquire while dealing with the issue as a contribution to preserve the wildlife of Africa.