UPDATED 7:30 PM PT – Monday, January 11, 2021
On Monday, officials confirmed that two gorillas at a zoo in San Diego tested positive for COVID-19.
The gorillas, located at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, are the first reported instance of coronavirus transmission to primates recorded worldwide.
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
Park officials believe an asymptomatic staff member may have transmitted the virus to the apes.
“They’re doing ok. They’re experiencing some mild symptoms and we continue to observe them,” Lisa Peterson, executive director at the zoo said. “But they’re drinking and they’re eating and they’re interacting with one another. We’ll continue our observations closely with our veterinary team and we’ll address each symptom as they arise or if they arise.”
However, this is not the first time animals have been infected with COVID-19. Contact tracing has shown evidence of contraction by both tigers and minks.