Coronavirus May Pose Risk to Endangered African Mountain Gorillas

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As the novel coronavirus continues to wreak havoc across the world, conservationists and wildlife experts are raising concerns that the illness could pose a threat to mammals other than humans.

The endangered African mountain gorilla is feared to be vulnerable to COVID-19, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. The species is able to contract similar respiratory illnesses as humans, and doing so would post great risk to the primates, as even a common cold has been found to prove fatal for them, officials said. 

In 2018, the mountain gorilla subspecies was reclassified from Critically Endangered to Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, according to WWF. 

There are believed to be just over 1,063 African mountain gorillas remaining in the world. All live in protective areas in African countries.