Gorillas at US zoo test positive for COVID-19

Officials at a zoo in the US state of California say at least two of its gorillas have contracted the coronavirus.

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park said on Monday that the gorillas underwent testing after they began coughing last week, and that it had confirmed the positive results.

A senior zoo official said the gorillas are doing well, aside from some congestion and coughing.

The zoo pointed out that this is the first known instance of natural transmission of the coronavirus to great apes.

Zookeepers suspect the gorillas acquired the infection from an asymptomatic staff member.

The zoo has been closed since last month in line with guidance issued by the state amid the coronavirus crisis. California has the largest number of infections in the country.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, says that dogs and cats have been infected with the coronavirus around the world, adding that at a zoo in New York, some lions and tigers tested positive.

The CDC says the virus can spread from people to animals under some conditions, such as close contact between an animal and a person infected with the virus.