Human Virus Blamed in Gorilla Deaths


A human virus that causes respiratory disease has been linked to the death of wild mountain gorillas, U.S. and African researchers say.

Researchers say the finding confirms that serious diseases can pass from people to these endangered animals, a release from the University of California, Davis reported Monday.

“Because there are fewer than 800 living mountain gorillas, each individual is critically important to the survival of their species,” Mike Cranfield of the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project and a UC Davis wildlife veterinarian, said. “But mountain gorillas are surrounded by people, and this discovery makes it clear that living in protected national parks is not a barrier to human diseases.”

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