Dallas Zoo gorillas cleared of COVID-19 after testing positive for omicron
Dallas Zoo gorillas cleared of COVID-19 after testing positive for omicron

Dallas Zoo gorillas cleared of COVID-19 after testing positive for omicron

All the gorillas at Dallas Zoo have been cleared of COVID-19, the zoo announced Thursday.

Five of the zoo’s lowland western gorillas – Asha, B’Wenzi, Marcus, Shana and Shanta – tested positive for the omicron variant of COVID-19 on 7 Feb. from samples taken on February 1st. The results were confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory on 15 Feb.

All the gorillas remained asymptomatic during their illness, the zoo said.

The zoo has two gorilla troops: the family troop with Asha, Marcus, Mbani, Megan, Saambili and Shanta, and the bachelor troop with B’Wenzi, Juba, Shana and Zola.

Because the gorillas had been together for nearly a week when the first results came, staff made the choice not to quarantine the COVID-19-positive animals, said Anne Burgdorf, associate veterinarian at the zoo.

After the first results, all the gorillas were tested every few days until cleared. All gorillas, with the exception of the two youngest, had at least one positive test result during that time, but also remained asymptomatic.

COVID-19 cases in captive animals and pets have been reported throughout the pandemic.

According to US Department of Agriculturehas more than 350 animals tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began.

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