Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Coronavirus Hits Otters in US Zoo

Coronavirus Hits Otters in US Zoo

Wednesday, 21 April, 2021 - 05:00
Asian small-clawed otters wait for their lunch at the Woodland Park Zoo, closed for nearly three months because of the coronavirus outbreak, in Seattle, Washington, US, May 26, 2020. (AP Photo).

Otters at an aquarium in the US state of Georgia have tested positive for the coronavirus, the zoo said Sunday.

Officials at the Georgia Aquarium said that Asian small-clawed otters tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the German News Agency (dpa) reported.

"They began exhibiting mild respiratory symptoms including sneezing, runny noses, mild lethargy and coughing," the aquarium said in a press release, adding the animals were "expected to make a full recovery."

"They are off exhibit and being cared for behind-the-scenes by the Aquarium's expert animal health and animal care teams," the statement added without specifying how many otters were affected.

Georgia Aquarium vice president of animal and environmental health Tonya Clauss said the otters were "under very close monitoring" and only displayed mild symptoms.

"We expect them all to make a full recovery," Clauss said.

The aquarium said the otters were believed to have acquired the infection from an asymptomatic staff member, adding that the animals do not have any direct contact with guests.

Editor Picks