Are animals at risk of COVID-19?

ABC News’ Will Carr reports from the San Diego Zoo, where eight gorillas recently came down with COVID-19.
4:59 | 03/04/21

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Transcript for Are animals at risk of COVID-19?
Corona viruses spent the past years spreading around the world from its human tissue men but it's also affected other species as well including our fellow primates at the San Diego Zoo. After an outbreak among its guerillas the zoo did what most of us are doing right now British sought out a vaccine. Will Carr reports on how are tests and are less domesticated animal friends have been affected by the pandemic. Inside the San Diego zoo's safari park the group the troops as a way of acting just like guns. Leading to playing to keeping getting sick and most recently deep guerrillas came down to come in nineteen lightly after interacting with the asymptomatic employ. What was your mindset when he found out that they had tested positive it was as your bracket because. This was the first that we knew of so we started seeing a lot of lethargy and then coughing and sniffling. The biggest concern when it tested positive for cove it is a guerrilla name Winston he's a silverback Keyes 49 which is considered elderly and he has an underlying heart condition. We felt strongly that we needed to know what was going on how was impacting him so we knew exactly how to treat him and so that we can. Make every attempt to make sure that he would recover quickly and resume his important role in the true. The silverback is critical to their social dynamics and to the balance of how they work together as a family. To help the zoo kept the guerrillas in quarantine for roughly a month closing off the exhibit to the public. Now they're all Baghdad it in good health swinging in smiling in front of mass park goers. They're not the first animals to contract the virus. Keep in mind the World Health Organization believes cove in nineteen started in an animal can jump to humans. Since that we've seen a small number of animals contract coded in the United States. Including bloody seven year old German shepherd. Body was caught being he was having trouble free Damon. You just not really like himself and the dog can never been sick he tossed a daily a wildlife reporter covered buddy story last year for National Geographic. His owners woke up and he was coughing up blood he was so severely ill that the decision was made to euthanize buddy. The big mystery here is that in the final days of buddy's life. Doctors and veterinarians thought that it was most likely that he actually had lymphoma I would just a tight but exert. And that's probably explains it's really severe symptoms and missed from and it's probably ultimately why he died but what we don't know is because he had this underlying condition and weather at bats was linked or whether that made him more susceptible to getting Kobe. Nets though including doctor Julio Lopez say it's unlikely venture tail wagging best friend gets Coe vintners. Then about one year now since we first. Learned that dogs could become infected with Kobe nineteen. The first case in Hong Kong we've had this whole year. To determine whether or not it was gonna become a big issue and so far we can see better only been rare reports. Dogs and cats being out acted with the code nineteen. Thankfully to pandemic is largely spared our pets but there are still some considerations. People don't realize that dogs and cats and animals in shelters and zoo animals full between the cracks. Any federal agency mission statements and therefore they are not under any form of surgery and once. Traci MacNamara professor of veterinary pathology police at the federal government needs to team up with the private sector bats to pay close attention to cove its impact on animals. Listen to Ken Pollack I won't buy snacks you know I'm gonna snuggle with my cats no matter what but maybe you wanna rethink about. Getting a tongue bath from your dogs like looks dongle didn't. Probably not the best thing right now. In other species are even more susceptible. Animal pharmaceutical companies so what is says it started developing vaccines for dogs and cats but then shifted development to the mink after huge populations have become infected with Kobe it. That's back at the San Diego zoo's safari park reached out to so when it's after the guerrillas scare was coded. They would you dispute help so. That's when he provided today seemed to them or. And rental basis for the drug. The zoos and administered that vaccine to some of its other great apes to prevent a similar outbreak meanwhile the guerrillas that have recovered from corroded or doing well just like a humans right Alamos also get diseases and they need to be protected just let me do both the efficacy of vaccines being used on the animals are still being studied from de Hogan go visit healthier way of life. For all mammals. So they think it's really important for people to remember that as we protect plants and animals and and the habitats and environments that they live and we're also protecting ourselves. And it really gives us an opportunity for all living things to thrive together. I mean San Diego will carve ABC news. Even the animals ready for this to be all over our thanks so will car so that reports.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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