September 14, 2021 by archyde
PostedSeptember 14, 2021, 4:19 PM
About 30 of these great apes were given a nasal swab because they can be infected with the virus. All of them were negative.
Tests in the nostrils seem as unpleasant to orangutans as they do to humans.
About 30 orangutans in the Malaysian state of Sabah, on the island of Borneo, were tested for the coronavirus last Tuesday and they all came out negative, local conservation authorities said.
“Tests for Covid-19 have been a vital instrument in helping us get through this pandemic, and it is also very important for the orangutan population”, underlined Sen Nathan, deputy director of the department of protection animals in the state of Sabah, in a statement on Saturday.
These are the first tests carried out on orangutans in the Southeast Asian country. The procedure was decided upon after staff at a nature park and wildlife rehabilitation center for primates were infected. “This disease could be very dangerous for their health and jeopardize their re-education in the wild,” said Sen Nathan. Vets will continue to monitor the monkeys and tests will be performed regularly.
Testing an orangutan is a tricky task.
Contaminated gorillas in Atlanta
Animals have tested positive for Covid-19 on several occasions. This weekend, a zoo in Atlanta, United States, announced that several of its gorillas had been infected. Cats, dogs and a ferret were also infected.
Malaysia, like other countries in Southeast Asia, is grappling with a significant wave of Covid-19 made worse by the highly contagious Delta variant. The country has recorded several thousand new cases and hundreds of deaths per day in recent weeks.
The state of Sabah, in the north of the island of Borneo, home to vast swathes of virgin forests and great biodiversity, has also seen a surge in the number of cases among its residents.
According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Borneo’s orangutans are critically endangered. Their population has declined by more than 50% over the past 60 years, according to environmental NGO WWF, due to a reduction in their habitat due to logging, oil palm plantations and land use. exploitation of other natural resources.
The island of Borneo is shared between Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei.