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Primates at San Diego Zoo receive the COVID-19 vaccine

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As people go ape trying to find COVID-19 vaccines, a group of primates at the San Diego Zoo became the first non-humans to be administered the jab — including an orangutan named Karen.

In January, eight gorillas at the zoo’s Safari Park tested positive for the illness in what was believed to be the first case of the bug infecting great apes.

Nadine Lamberski, a global conservation and wildlife health officer told Business Insider that “alarm bells” first went off when Winston, a 49-year-old silverback gorilla, began coughing days after a wildlife specialist tested positive.

“As soon as we knew that an employee was positive, we were on high alert, so just that one or two coughs really sent the alarm bells off, and we immediately started to get the permissions necessary to submit samples for diagnostic testing,” Lamberski told the outlet.

After the infected apes made a full recovery, Lamberski said the team then worked hard on obtaining vaccines for the animals.

Karen the orangutan
Four orangutans — including one named Karen, who was also the first ape in the world to have open-heart surgery in 1994 — and five bonobos received the vaccine.

Veterinary pharmaceutical company Zoetis developed the experimental jab, which is not built nor suitable for human use, according to Insider, which cited the National Geographic.

In total, four orangutans — including one named Karen, who was also the first ape in the world to have open-heart surgery in 1994 — and five bonobos received the vaccine.

8 gorillas at the San Diego Zoo have tested positive for COVID-19.
Eight gorillas at the San Diego Zoo had tested positive for COVID-19.
Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo Global

There are fewer than 5,000 gorillas left in the wild and researchers have expressed concern that the COVID-19 could spread rapidly if just one ape caught the virus.

Little is known about the effect the bug has on animals, though various animals — including cats and dogs — have already tested positive for the illness.

Paul Baribault, CEO of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance says, "We are dependent on the health of wildlife."
Paul Baribault, CEO of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance says, “We are dependent on the health of wildlife.”
Ken Bohn/San Diego Zoo Global

Lamberski said that despite the inoculations, “that big sigh of relief isn’t going to come until our entire community is vaccinated, until the vaccine gets to, you know, remote communities all over the world, to areas where gorillas live in the wild.”

Paul Baribault, President and CEO of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, told Insider: “As we move forward out of COVID, I think we certainly hope that the world has a greater understanding of our interdependency, that we are dependent on the health of nature.

“We are dependent on the health of wildlife. Our health is tied to all of it,” he said.

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Suspect arrested in fatal Brooklyn stabbing

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Police have apprehended a suspect in the fatal December stabbing of a Brooklyn man, cops said on Saturday.

The suspect, John Headley, 32, also of Brooklyn, was taken into custody Friday and charged with murder and weapons possession for the Dec. 12 knifing of Ken Baird, 37, police said.

Baird was stabbed multiple times in the chest following a dispute on Crown Street near Utica Avenue in Crown Heights at about 6:40 p.m., police said.

EMS transported Baird to King County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, cops said.

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Man dies after jumping from Staten Island Ferry

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A 53-year-old man died Saturday after jumping from the Staten Island Ferry into the chilly waters of New York Harbor, police said.

NYPD Harbor launch officers pulled the man out of the water after responding to reports of a jumper near the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan at around 2 p.m.

“He jumped off the ferry as it pulled away from the dock,” an NYPD spokesman told The Post. He jumped off the Ferryboat Andrew J. Barberi, police said.

The unidentified victim was removed to Pier 11 and transported to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 3:10 p.m.

A newsstand worker said there were “about 50 or so emergency people” at Pier 11 following a valiant effort — which included CPR — to save the man’s life.

Ferry1

An NYPD spokesman says the 53-year-old man “jumped off the ferry as it pulled away from the dock.”

Michael Dalton

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The 53-year-old man was transported to New York-Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Michael Dalton

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Kemp Lashes M.L.B. as Republicans Defend Georgia’s Voting Law

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Mr. Kemp, who is gearing up to run for re-election in 2022, has striven to re-enter the good graces of Republican voters after becoming a central political target of former President Donald J. Trump because of his refusal to help Mr. Trump overturn the state’s election results last year. A former secretary of state of Georgia who has his own record of decisions that made voting harder for the state’s residents, he is again a key G.O.P. voice leading the charge on the issue.

On Saturday, he repeatedly tried to paint the league’s decision as driven by Stacey Abrams, the voting rights advocate and former Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia who is seen as likely to challenge Mr. Kemp again next year.

Ms. Abrams, one of the most prominent critics of Georgia’s voting law, has pushed back on calls for sports leagues and corporations to boycott the state. She said on Friday that she was “disappointed” baseball officials had pulled the All-Star Game but that she was “proud of their stance on voting rights.”

In defending the law in Georgia, Mr. Kemp singled out two Democratically controlled states, New York and Delaware, and compared their voting regulations with the new law in Georgia. Those states do not offer as many options for early voting as Georgia does, but they have also not passed new laws instituting restrictions on voting.

“In New York, they have 10 days of early voting,” Mr. Kemp said (New York actually has nine). “In Georgia, we have a minimum of 17, with two additional Sundays that are optional in our state. In New York, you have to have an excuse to vote absentee. In Georgia, you can vote absentee for any reason.”

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