9 great apes get COVID-19 vaccinations at San Diego Zoo

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Orangutan at San Diego Zoo (Photo: San Diego Zoo)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego Zoo has vaccinated nine great apes for the coronavirus after a troop of gorillas in its Safari Park became infected.

Officials say four orangutans and five bonobos received COVID-19 injections in January and February.

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Three bonobos and a gorilla also are expected to receive the vaccine, which is experimental. The vaccinations followed a January outbreak of COVID-19 at the zoo’s Safari Park. Eight western lowland gorillas got the virus, probably by exposure to a zookeeper who tested positive for COVID-19.

The gorillas had symptoms ranging from runny noses to coughing and lethargy. But they are recovering.