Otters in Atlanta aquarium test positive for coronavirus

Atlanta, Georgia – Otters at an aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the zoo said on Sunday.

The Atlanta otters are expected to make a full recovery (stock image).
The Atlanta otters are expected to make a full recovery (stock image).  © 123RF/belizar

The Georgia Aquarium said that "geriatric" Asian small-clawed otters tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

"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.

Cover photo: 123RF/belizar

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