According to reports, officials stated that 18 of 20 gorillas at the Atlanta zoo have contracted COVID-19.
This comes a few days after employees reported their first case. Many gorillas had runny noses and were coughing with an appetite change.
Zoo officials let it be known that no evidence suggests animals can transmit the virus to humans despite humans being able to transmit it to gorillas. “While humans are known to be able to transmit the virus to animals such as gorillas, and these cases have occurred at other zoos, there is currently no data to suggest that zoo animals can transmit the virus to humans.”
Officials continued, “Regardless, Zoo Atlanta visitors do not pose a transmission threat to the gorillas or vice versa given the distance between the areas used by guests and the animals’ habitats,” WSB reports.
Sam Rivera, senior director of the Atlanta Zoo, stated there was concern because there is a strict protocol around COVID-19, but the gorillas were still affected.
“The infections occurred in an area of the Zoo where COVID safety protocols are already at their most stringent,” Rivera said. “The use of PPE when working with great apes was already a standard practice at Zoo Atlanta due to their susceptibility to many of the same illnesses experienced by humans, including the common cold and influenza.”
At this time, the Atlanta Zoo is “using monoclonal antibodies to treat the gorillas at risk of developing complications from the virus,” WSB reports.
Roomies, what do you think about this?