Coronavirus: Shango the gorilla given COVID-19 check after fever | US Information

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
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.

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”.

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