COVID Has Spread to a New Kind of Beast

8 gorillas that live together at California zoo are believed to have been infected
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 12, 2021 12:01 AM CST
Gorillas at California Zoo Positive for Coronavirus
A member of the gorilla troop at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in Escondido, Calif., soaks in the sun at his habitat on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021.   (Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo Safari Park via AP)

California's San Diego Zoo is experiencing what is believed to be the first coronavirus outbreak among captive primates. Eight gorillas that live together at the zoo's safari park are thought to be infected, with some of them coughing, and at least two have tested positive, the Guardian reports. An asymptomatic member of the park's wildlife care team who tested positive for the virus is believed to have exposed the animals. Fox 5 San Diego reports the staff member took all COVID precautions and wore PPE while caring for the animals.

"Aside from some congestion and coughing, the gorillas are doing well" and remain in their habitat, the park's executive director says. "The troop remains quarantined together and are eating and drinking. We are hopeful for a full recovery." Large cats at zoos have previously been infected, all of which have since recovered. Domesticated cats and dogs, as well as both farmed and wild mink, have also tested positive. (More coronavirus stories.)

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