Taronga Zoo is part of an expert working group including NSW Health, that is investigating a tuberculosis (TB) infection that was found in a chimp in September this year.
The zoo immediately notified NSW Health and the Office of the NSW Chief Veterinarian. Zoo officials also immediately sought advice on public safety and the chimp exhibit was inspected. Experts from NSW Health advised that there was no risk to visitors to the zoo.
Extensive testing of staff and animals has occurred and the investigation is ongoing.
NSW Health has advised that that there are no animals or people within the zoo environment that have been identified with infectious TB, therefore there is no ongoing risk of TB transmission.
Safety of the public is paramount to the zoo, and managers will continue to work closely with the state’s top health experts.
All necessary precautions have been taken to ensure the welfare of our visitors, staff and the animals. While visitors are not at risk, in the interests of public information, the zoo provided regular public notice updates on its website.
TB is a treatable condition and the chimps are on antibiotic treatments, and doing well.
It’s important to realise that people are routinely exposed to TB in their everyday lives, eg when travelling overseas, with over a third of the people of the world infected with TB germs.