All 20 gorillas at Georgia’s Zoo Atlanta are being examined for COVID-19 after a few in the western lowland troops tested positive. The Miami Herald reports that zookeepers took notice of a few apes’ excessive coughing and snot pile-up when they promptly sent in fecal, nasal, and oral swab samples to the Athens Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Georgia. The samples came back “presumptively positive” for coronavirus, said the zoo, and have been sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa for further testing. The most “at-risk” gorillas are undergoing monoclonal antibody treatments.
The zoo claims they don’t know how the gorillas contracted the virus. Vets think it spread from a COVID-positive team member, despite being fully vaccinated, wearing PPE, and asymptomatic.
Upon recovery, the gorillas will receive the “Zoetis” vaccine, a vaccine made specifically for animals. Bornean and Sumatran orangutans, Sumatran tigers, African lions, and clouded leopards will also be getting the jab.