Gorillas at the renowned Zoo Atlanta in Georgia have tested positive for COVID-19. The zoo, which could be a prime tourist attraction in Georgia, released a notice mentioning that the animals started showing virus symptoms like coughing, appetite loss, and nasal discharge. Soon after, the veterinary team collected samples, and that they tested presumptively positive.
Among the infected may be a 60-year-old Ozzie, who is that the oldest male gorilla in the world! Sam Rivera, DVM, the zoo’s senior director of animal health said, “We are very concerned that these infections occurred, especially as long as our safety protocols when working with great apes and other susceptible animal species are, and throughout the pandemic are, extremely rigorous”.
He further said that their teams are closely monitoring the infected gorillas and are hopeful they’re going to make a whole recovery. The director further said that the gorillas are becoming the most effective possible care.
Zoo Atlanta is home to twenty western lowland gorillas living in four different troops. As per zoo management, the gorillas got infected by a completely vaccinated veterinary staff, who was asymptomatic. After the incident, the zoo authorities will continue testing the gorillas, no matter whether or not they’re showing symptoms.
The news comes as a surprise because the team members wear full PPE kits, including gloves, masks, and suits. Also, the physical distance is usually maintained between the gorillas and team members. Now to treat them, the zoo has received the Zoetis vaccine, made specifically for animals to protect against COVID-19. an equivalent vaccine has been used at several famous zoos, including California’s Oakland Zoo and therefore the San Diego Zoo.