While millions of Americans are getting tested for the coronavirus, recent photos surfaced showing 433-lb. Shango the gorilla getting tested for the deadly virus as well. The lowland gorilla is a resident of the Miami Zoo and was tested for COVID-19 after getting into a pretty nasty brawl with his brother, Barney. As a precaution, zoo employees felt it was best if they tested him to make sure he was safe.
"Shango, our 433 lb. lowland gorilla is immobilized for treatment of some wounds he experienced in a confrontation with his brother," zoo staffer Ron Magill posted to Twitter. "In an abundance of caution, he also received tests for COVID-19. Thankfully - NEGATIVE!"
Shango, our 433 lb. lowland gorilla is immobilized for treatment of some wounds he experienced in a confrontation with his brother. In an abundance of caution, he also received tests for COVID-19. Thankfully - NEGATIVE! pic.twitter.com/uLGzNE4Zm2— Ron Magill (@RonMagill) July 12, 2020
As a result of the fight, Shango suffered a few injuries, one to his hand from being bit which can be seen in the photos. Those who have been tested for the virus know the nasal swab is not a fun process. Knowing this, vets had to sedate Shango in order to get a proper test, so they decided to perform the process while he was already being treated for injuries.
While Magill confirmed that the large animal's test did come back negative, it's being highlighted, more and more, that animals are able to contract the virus as well. In fact, in April, a tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the first of her kind to contract it. Nadia the tiger was tested after she and five other cats started showing symptoms of the respiratory illness. "We tested the cat out of an abundance of caution and will ensure any knowledge we gain about COVID-19 will contribute to the world's continuing understanding of this novel coronavirus," the Wildlife Conservation Society said in a statement at the time.
The 4-year-old tiger developed a dry cough but is expected to make a full recovery. Nadia's sister Azul, two Amur tigers and three African lions showed the same symptoms as well but are also expected to recover fully. "Though they have experienced some decrease in appetite, the cats at the Bronx Zoo are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers. It is not known how this disease will develop in big cats since different species can react different to novel infections, but we will continue to monitor them closely and anticipate full recoveries," the statement ended.