Thirteen western lowland gorillas at Zoo Atlanta have tested positive for Coronavirus.
Staff were alerted when several of the zoo’s troop of 20 western lowland gorillas began exhibiting symptoms, including runny noses, mild coughing and loss of appetite.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that fecal samples and swabs sent to the University of Georgia’s veterinary diagnostic laboratory showed that 13 of the great apes were positive for Coronavirus.
A statement released by the management of the zoo wrote;
“Recently, Gorilla Care Team members observed coughing, nasal discharge, and minor changes in appetite in several members of the gorilla population.
“Upon the onset of these signs, the Animal Care and Veterinary Teams immediately pursued testing for SARS-CoV-2. Fecal samples and nasal and oral swab samples were sent to the Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Georgia, where they tested presumptively positive.
“Zoo Atlanta is waiting to receive the results of the confirmatory tests on samples sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa.”
The zoo also revealed that the gorillas at risk of experiencing COVID-19 complications, are receiving monoclonal antibodies.