How Indonesia is protecting its orangutans from COVID-19
The Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation is taking measures to protect its orangutans from the coronavirus.
It has closed its doors to visitors and told staff to use the same precautions as medical professionals to avoid passing on the infection. Staff now wear masks and protective gloves when working with the orangutans.
It is not yet known whether or not COVID-19 can be passed on to animals, however, considering a tiger in New York has just been tested positive (and the fact that these fuzzy apes share 97 per cent of our DNA) mean the foundation isn’t taking any chances.
Previously, the Ebola epidemic has been transferred to both gorillas and chimpanzees.
"There haven't been any confirmed cases of direct transmission, but it's caused other issues like a shortage of masks and disinfectant supplies for our orangutan caretakers," said foundation’s veterinarian Agus Irwanto.
"While the humans at our rehabilitation centres work hard to adjust to these new measures, the orangutans are going about their usual business," the foundation said.
Other zoos around the world has also taken precautions to protect its monkey and ape populations. France has told caretakers in its national zoos to stay away from gorillas and chimpanzees, while the African nation of Gabon has banned tourists from visiting its great apes.
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