Primates at the San Diego Zoo safari park have tested positive for the coronavirus. Lisa Peterson, Executive Director of the park, told AP that eight gorillas that live together have been infected while several others have been exhibiting symptoms including coughing.
In a statement, the San Diego zoo confirmed that the gorillas were infected by a member of the park’s team who took care of wildlife. The member is not identified but is said to be asymptomatic.
California’s Governor Gavin Newsom confirmed the news calling the primates “our beloved gorillas” and wished the zoo “the best of the best.”
Veterinarians are closely monitoring the condition of the gorillas and are hoping that they do not develop severe symptoms. They have been isolated and are eating and drinking well.
Peterson also said that they are hoping that the primates will recover soon. “They are given food, adequate amounts of vitamins and fluids to keep them “healthy and thriving,” as they could prove to be naturally resilient and can recover differently from humans.”
The Center for Disease Control has spoken of inter-species infections. It says that the first person who got the coronavirus most likely caught the infection when it crossed over from a mammal, which was most probably a bat.
Many animal species mainly domesticated or in zoos have been infected by the coronavirus and have shown typical symptoms of the virus. This is the first time that gorillas have been infected by the virus. Many of other infected animals both in the U.S. and all over the world include dogs, cats, tigers, and minx. All known cases have recovered so far in the U.S.