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COVID Among Gorillas

A number of western lowland gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, according to NBC7 San Diego.

Zoo officials tell NBC7 that two gorillas began coughing last week, leading them to send fecal samples from the animals for testing. Their initial positive results were then confirmed by the US Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Services Laboratories, it adds. In all, National Geographic reports that a troop of eight are thought to be affected and are quarantining together. Lisa Peterson, executive director of the park, tells it that three gorillas are still showing symptoms, but are eating and drinking well.

This report confirms earlier suspicions, National Geographic writes, that endangered primates like the western lowland gorilla are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2. It adds that it's thought the primates caught the virus from an asymptomatic zoo worker. 

National Geographic notes that other animals have also previously tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, including lions and tigers at the Bronx Zoo and mink.