Several members of a Western lowland gorilla troop at the Atlanta Zoo tested positive for the coronavirus after trainers noticed that many of the great apes were showing signs of mild coughs, runny noses, and a small loss of appetite, the zoo said. Friday.
The zoo added that it is awaiting confirmation of the test results from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, which also received samples.
The statement did not say how many of the gorillas appeared to be infected, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that 13 gorillas had tested positive for the virus.
The zoo’s statement says its teams are collecting samples for testing from the zoo’s entire gorilla population, which has 20 members living in four troops. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution report states that members of each of the four troops showed signs of infection.
The newspaper’s report said the virus is likely to have made its way into the gorilla population from an animal care worker who was asymptomatic when he got to work but who later tested positive for the virus.
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