Shango the gorilla gets COVID-19 test after developing fever

A gorilla at a zoo in Florida has been tested for COVID-19 after he was taken to an animal hospital to receive treatment following a fight with his younger brother.

Zoo Miami says 31-year-old Shango – who weighs 433lbs – and Barney, 26, got into a fight on Wednesday, resulting in bite wounds.

They were both born at San Francisco Zoo and arrived at Zoo Miami in 2017, where they have lived together ever since.

Shango's COVID-19 test included a nasal swab. Pic: Ron Magill Conservation Endowment
Image:Shango’s COVID-19 test included a nasal swab. Pic: Ron Magill Conservation Endowment

It says conflicts between adult male gorillas in bachelor groups are not uncommon, but that most consist of posturing and rarely result in serious injury.

The zoo says Shango received X-rays, vaccinations, an ultrasound, a TB test and a bronchoscopy as part of its overall preventative medicine program.

It says the lowland gorilla’s bite wounds were “quite deep”, but “fortunately did not appear to result in any permanent damage”.

Because he was presenting with a low grade fever, and as a precaution during the coronavirus pandemic, he was also tested for COVID-19, but it came back negative.

More from Covid-19

  • Coronavirus: Ireland quarantine remains in force for British holidaymakers

  • Coronavirus: Face masks ‘absolutely a good idea’ in shops but not compulsory

  • Five things we learnt from this week’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday

  • Coronavirus: British pilot returns home after 65 days on life support in Vietnam

  • Coronavirus: 72 contract COVID-19 after outbreak on Herefordshire farm

  • Coronavirus: Vaccine could be available in first half of next year, says Imperial College expert

Shango has since been returned to the gorilla area where he will be closely monitored as he continues to heal.

The zoo says no decision has been made yet about whether he will be reintroduced to brother Barney, as that will depend on “behavioral assessments made by the staff combined with the healing progress of his injuries”.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *