Thirteen western lowland gorillas at Zoo Atlanta are receiving treatment for COVID-19, after initial tests came back positive. Atlanta-Journal Constitution informed of.
why it matters: Zoo Atlanta confirmed in a statement on Friday that “a number” of its 20 gorillas had tested positive, and the zoo believes they were infected by a fully vaccinated team member.
- The team member was wearing PPE and had no symptoms that day, the statement said.
state of play: The gorilla was tested for the virus after exhibiting classic symptoms including cough, runny nose and slight changes in appetite, the statement said.
- Oral and fecal samples sent to the University of Georgia’s Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory came back with 13 potentially positive results.
- The zoo is now awaiting confirmation from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, which also received the samples.
- The gorillas who are at increased risk of developing complications are being treated with monoclonal antibodies, the statement said.
- The zoo said all 20 gorillas, regardless of symptoms, would be tested regularly.
once they are well, Gorillas – as well as the zoo’s Bornean and Sumatran orangutans, Sumatran tigers, African lions, and clouded leopards – will receive the Zoetis coronavirus vaccine developed for the animals.
What are they saying: Sam Rivera, senior director of animal health at the zoo, said in the statement: “The teams are monitoring the affected gorillas very closely and hope they make a full recovery.”
- “They are receiving the best possible care, and we stand ready to provide additional supportive care,” Rivera said.
big picture: Other zoos across the country have also started vaccinating some of their charges.
- on 30 August, Detroit Zoo announced that it has started vaccination with its gorillas, chimpanzees, tigers and lions.
- NS Oakland Zoo Started vaccinating my animals in July.
- In February, the great apes at the San Diego Zoo became the first animals in the country to be vaccinated against the virus. National Geographic.
- According to National Geographic, Zoetis plans to send 11,000 doses of the animal vaccine for free to more than 80 institutions across the country.