Left Menu
Development News Edition

Workers in hospital scrubs care for chimpanzees at Washington state sanctuary

Reuters | Updated: 18-03-2020 04:39 IST | Created: 18-03-2020 02:52 IST
Workers in hospital scrubs care for chimpanzees at Washington state sanctuary

A Washington state sanctuary for chimpanzees once used for scientific research has scaled back its staffing and donned personal protective gear to avoid infecting the primates during the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Nestled at the base of the Cascade Mountains, Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest cares for 10 older chimps, most of whom were born in laboratories. Human respiratory viruses have caused lethal outbreaks among primates. In late 2016, cases of human coronavirus spread to a community of wild chimpanzees in Ivory Coast.

"Our whole population could be considered vulnerable," said Diana Goodrich, who co-founded the sanctuary. "We don't know if the COVID-19 is transmittable to chimpanzees, but we have to assume it is." As reports of coronavirus cases in Washington began piling up at the beginning of March, Goodrich started to drastically reduce the number of staff members entering the sanctuary.

Now just a few workers come in each day to help feed and clean the chimps -- wearing medical scrubs, masks, and gloves to reduce chances of exposure. "We have to assume we're carrying it," Goodrich said of the virus. "Especially because we know you can be completely asymptomatic, but also be carrying it, so we want to put a barrier between our germs and the chimps as much as we can. We're protecting them from us."

Goodrich has postponed the sanctuary's main fundraising event this summer and turned her attention towards the day-to-day operations there, such as regular feedings and keeping the facility clean. Goodrich said she is considering ways to take the fundraising event online. "I think it'll be a really nice distraction," Goodrich said. "Our supporters will get to see videos of chimps playing and having fun and at least for those few minutes, they don't have to think about the virus."


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in the Times of COVID-19

The reverse migration caused by COVID 19 pandemic has put an additional burden of about one crore people on Indian villages particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Besides increasing the risk of spreading the ...

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Videos

Latest News

Hong Kong shares surge on relief over Trump comments

Hong Kong shares surged on Monday as investors expressed relief that U.S. President Donald Trump did not immediately end special privileges accorded to Hong Kong by Washington.By mid-morning, the benchmark Hang Seng index was trading 3.38 h...

IMD issues yellow alert for 9 districts in Kerala today

With the onset of monsoon expected in Kerala, the Indian Meteorological Department IMD has issued a yellow alert for nine districts of the state on Monday. A yellow alert has been issued for Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Alapp...

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs meeting today at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs CCEA meeting will be held on Monday at the Prime Ministers residence at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi.This meeting assumes significance as the Ministry of Home Affairs MHA has issued new guidelines...

PGF investment to revitalise KiwiRail upgrading Northland Line

The start of major work replacing bridges, improving tunnels and upgrading the rail line to Whangarei will result in more reliable train services and enable more freight to be carried by rail, KiwiRail Group Chief Executive Greg Miller says...

Give Feedback