Otters test positive for COVID-19 at Aquarium in Atlanta

An Asian small-clawed otter waits to be fed at the Woodland Park Zoo, closed for nearly three months because of the coronavirus outbreak, Tuesday, May 26, 2020, in Seattle. King County remains in phase one of Gov. Jay Inslee's four-phase plan to reopen Washington's economy. It's unlikely the Seattle zoo could open in the coming weeks based on criteria being studied by Washington state officials. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta has reported that an unspecified number of otters have tested positive for COVID-19.

After a handful of small-clawed otters began exhibiting coronavirus symptoms like sneezing, runny noses, mild lethargy, and coughing they were tested for COVID-19.

Now the otters are off-exhibit and being cared by an expert animal health. 

The aquarium suspects that in a rare case of human-to-animal transmission of the virus, an asymptomatic staff member may have infected the otter since the otters don’t have direct contact with guests.

This isn’t the first time in the U.S. for animals to contract the virus, in January, several Gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in California tested positive for COVID-19, the gorillas were treated, and made full recovery according to the park.


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