Two members of the gorilla troop at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park have confirmed to have tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Monday, January 11th.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park states that the two gorillas began showing symptoms of the novel coronavirus on January 6th, 2021. On January 8th, tests were conducted on the gorillas’ fecal samples by the San Diego Zoo Global and the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System (CAHFS). These tests detected the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the gorillas’ feces. The positive cases were further confirmed today (January 11th) via USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories.
As of now, three of the gorillas are currently showing signs of symptoms from the virus. These symptoms include congestion and cough. While only two of the fecal tests came back positive along with only three exhibiting symptoms, this does not rule out the virus’s presence in the other members of the troop.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park states that they do not know if the novel coronavirus infection shares the same “human-like” illness in gorillas. The veterinarians will continue to monitor the troop closely. They also plan to consult with health officials with experience in the virus.
For more information on this breaking news, check out the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Q&A on the recent outbreak:
Featured image courtesy of: https://www.sdzsafaripark.org/update