Gorillas at San Diego Zoo Safari Park have tested positive for the novel coronavirus after two of the gorillas started coughing last week.
In a statement obtained by People, the zoo revealed preliminary tests detected COVID-19 on Friday and the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed the positive test results on Monday.
“The troop remains quarantined together and are eating and drinking. We are hopeful for a full recovery,” San Diego Zoo Executive Director Lisa Peterson said in a statement, adding the gorillas are doing well aside from some coughing and congestion.
Members of our gorilla troop tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Aside from some congestion and coughing, the gorillas are doing well and we are hopeful for a full recovery. Read the full update: https://t.co/HIezWKBFxG pic.twitter.com/MAkPYPzxWP— San Diego Zoo Safari Park (@sdzsafaripark) January 11, 2021
According to People, the zoo believes the gorillas contracted the virus from a staff member who was asymptomatic and later tested positive for the virus. The staff member had been wearing PPE around the animals.
“For almost one year our team members have been working tirelessly, with the utmost determination to protect each other and the wildlife in our care from this highly contagious virus,” Peterson said in a statement reported by People. “The safety of our staff and the wildlife in our care remains our number one priority.”