Dozens of critically endangered orangutans in Malaysia have been examined for the coronavirus, with vets in protecting fits enterprise the tough process of giving the apes nasal swabs.
The antigen assessments on 30 of the red-haired creatures in Sabah state on Borneo island have been performed final Tuesday, and all got here again detrimental, wildlife officers mentioned.
They have been the primary virus assessments on orangutans within the Southeast Asian nation, and have been ordered after employees at a rehabilitation centre and wildlife park grew to become contaminated.
“Testing for Covid-19 has been a significant device in serving to us get via this pandemic, and it’s equally essential for this orangutan inhabitants,” mentioned Sen Nathan, assistant director of the Sabah Wildlife Division.
“The illness might show vastly detrimental to their well being and set again their rehabilitation.”
Vets will proceed to intently monitor the apes and assessments might be performed frequently, officers mentioned.
Animals have turn into contaminated with Covid-19 occasionally. On the weekend, a zoo in Atlanta introduced that a number of of its gorillas had examined constructive. Home cats, canines and at the very least one ferret have additionally been contaminated.
Malaysia is preventing a severe Covid-19 outbreak pushed by the extremely contagious Delta variant, and has been recording 1000’s of instances and a whole bunch of deaths every day.
Sabah, on the northeastern tip of Borneo and residential to huge tracts of jungle and a kaleidoscope of uncommon animals, has additionally confronted a surge in instances.
Bornean orangutans are categorized as “critically endangered” by safety group the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature.
Their populations have declined by greater than 50 % over the previous 60 years, in keeping with the WWF, because the animals’ forest habitat has been progressively minimize right down to make approach for agricultural plantations.
Borneo is shared between Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.
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