Gorillas sit after two of their troop tested positive for Covid-19 after falling ill, and a third gorilla appears also to be symptomatic, at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park January 10, 2021.
Three of the gorillas are now showing signs of illness, including coughing, and are being monitored by veterinarians, who will treat each symptom as it arises, the zoo said.
But the gorillas in San Diego are the first known case of infections confirmed in apes, James said. Zoo staff collected fecal samples from the gorillas and tested them for the virus.
They are being given vitamins, fluid and food but no specific treatment for the virus.
While there is yet no credible scientific information regarding the role of animals in spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus to humans, it is known that humans can transmit the disease to animals in the event of close contact.
They will remain together, since separating them could be harmful to the gorillas that lived in tight-knit groups.
The US Department of Agriculture National Veterinary Services Laboratories confirmed the positive results yesterday.
The zoo believes the gorillas contracted the virus from an asymptomatic staff member, despite the zoo following coronavirus-related safety measures. Because gorillas live together, zoo officials are assuming that the entire troop has been exposed.
"As I say often to all of you, what tends to resonate in my house I want to make public to you in real time and that's the update in terms of the status of these gorillas in the San Diego Zoo", Newsom said.
"This is wildlife, and they have their own resiliency and can heal differently than we do", Peterson said.
The Democratic governor said that the news of the infected gorillas, which may have occurred as a result of the first global human-to-animal transfer, was a source of fascination in his household Monday morning.
The zoo adds that staff members wear PPE gear when around the gorillas.
The coronavirus has also been found in a number of other wild-animal species in captivity, including several lions and tigers at the Bronx Zoo in NY and four lions at the Barcelona Zoo in Spain. Because of that, it's unclear how severe gorillas can react to the virus.
There have also been reports of other animals being infected with the virus, including minks, ferrets and pet dogs and cats.