The gorillas were tested at the San Diego Zoo Safari park after they began coughing. Tests were administered on Wednesday and the positive results were confirmed on Monday by the The U.S. Department of Agriculture National Veterinary Services Laboratories.
This is the first known instance of coronavirus being naturally transmitted to great apes. The virus is believed to have been spread to the gorillas by an asymptomatic employee, despite adhering to the parks precautions including wearing PPE when near or caring for the primates.
As to the condition of the gorillas, “Aside from some congestion and coughing, the gorillas are doing well, according to executive director of the San Diego Safari Park Lisa Peterson. "The troop remains quarantined together and are eating and drinking. We are hopeful for a full recovery.”
The park posted a message on their Twitter account "Members of our gorilla troop tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Aside from some congestion and coughing, the gorillas are doing well and we are hopeful for a full recovery. Read the full update: https://sdzsafaripark.org/gorilla-care"
In his press conference on Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsome referenced the news, saying "We have two gorillas at the San Diego Zoo that now have tested positive for COVID-19. Two that have tested positive – we have another that is symptomatic. We are currently confirming the source of the infection and the strain. There is some question did it come human to animal? That’s being determined and one has to respect that process and the a adjudication of the facts, but none the less, this has been area that’s long been of concern human to animal transmission. But our beloved gorillas – we are obviously concerned about.”