Coronavirus could push vulnerable species 'over the edge' warning

Coronavirus could push vulnerable species like mountain gorillas and orangutans ‘over the edge’, warns wildlife expert

  •  The species are at risk as they have close links to humans Dr Steve Unwin says
  •  Projects to visit such primates have shut as a result of the deadly virus
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

Coronavirus presents a ‘clear and present danger’ to wildlife that could push vulnerable species ‘over the edge’, a leading expert warned last night.

Endangered great apes such as mountain gorillas and orangutans are at highest risk because they are closely related to humans, said Dr Steve Unwin of Birmingham University.

Ecotourism projects for gorillas and orangutans in central Africa and Malaysia, where humans can get close to the primates, have already closed due to fears of passing the virus on.

Wildlife risk: Coronavirus poses such a threat to animals that vulnerable species may be pushed ‘over the edge’

‘We are definitely concerned this virus could push some vulnerable populations over the edge,’ Dr Unwin said. He also warned big cats like tigers and lions could be affected.

Last week, a tiger at Bronx Zoo in New York was confirmed as having Covid-19. Lions at the zoo also showed possible symptoms.

 

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