Two captive gorillas at the San Diego Zoo have tested positive for Covid-19 after becoming ill, and a third gorilla also appears to be symptomatic, the governor of California said on Monday.
These cases are believed to be the first known cases among these primates in the world.
Park executive director Lisa Peterson told The The Bharat Express News on Monday that eight gorillas that live together in the park are believed to be carrying the virus and several are coughing.
It appears the infection came from a member of the park’s wildlife care team who also tested positive for the virus but was asymptomatic and was wearing a mask at all times around the gorillas. The park has been closed to the public since December 6 as part of the California lockdown.
Vets are keeping a close eye on the gorillas and they will remain in their habitat in the park north of San Diego, Ms Peterson said. So far, they are receiving vitamins, fluids and food, but no specific treatment for the virus.
“Aside from a little congestion and cough, gorillas are doing fine,” Ms. Peterson said.
While other wildlife have contracted the coronavirus from mink to tigers, this is the first known case of transmission to great apes and it is not known whether they will have a serious reaction.
London zoos have introduced strict social distancing rules to protect animals, including great apes and monkeys.