Gorillas at the San Diego Zoo have fully recovered from Covid-19

Western lowland gorilla, Winston, at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on February 11. Tammy Spratt / San Diego Zoo Global

Eight gorillas at the San Diego Zoo have fully recovered after contracting Covid-19 last month, the zoo said.

Western lowland gorillas have taken the West Coast coronavirus variant, zoo officials say, although team members have adhered to all recommended biosafety precautions.

All eight gorillas at the zoo were isolated after diagnosis, with some showing symptoms such as “mild cough, congestion, runny nose and intermittent lethargy,” the zoo said in an online update.

Zoo officials attribute gorilla recovery to the “highest standard of care” offered by the zoo’s veterinary staff, wildlife care professionals and collaboration with a wide range of colleagues and partners.

“We are very grateful for the great concern and support we received while the troop was safely recovering,” said Lisa Peterson, executive director of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “We are excited to share the joy that this dear troop brings to our community and to our guests.”

The San Diego Zoo has pledged to share documentation of the coronavirus in its gorillas in the hope that it will help “provide important information about the scientific understanding of the virus and its effects on great apes”.

Gorillas are now in sight of visitors.

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