Audubon Zoo’s gorillas, orangutans, are currently receiving their first doses COVID-19 vaccine.
Audubon Nature Institute website states that Audubon plans to also vaccinate cats, mustelids and otters at Audubon Zoo of the Americas during its next round of vaccinations.
Zoetis is donating over 11,000 doses its COVID-19 vaccine for the protection of the health and well-being of more than 100 mammal species that live in more than 70 zoos and more than a dozen academic institutions and government agencies around the world. 27 states.
According to CBS NewsThe zoo joins an international list of aquariums and zoos in the US who are currently vaccinating their animals for COVID-19.
The United States Department of Agriculture has approved the use of the new vaccine on a case by case basis.
Bob MacLean, Audubon senior veterinarian, said that protecting animals against COVID-19 as well as the Delta variant is crucial. “We have reviewed all scientific literature regarding animal susceptibility to the pandemic, and we are committed in protecting our animals.”
Zoetis Research and Development Team, based in Michigan, has decades of experience in developing coronavirus vaccines that are safe for pets, livestock, and poultry.
According to the website, Zoetis’ COVID-19 vaccination is unique and specifically formulated for animals. It does not reduce the doses available for humans.
MacLean stated, “While there haven’t been any long-term research since the virus was discovered less than two years ago,” MacLean added.
All animals receiving the vaccine at the aquarium or zoo are asked to participate in positive reinforcement training.
The Audubon Nature Institute says that they can be trained to sit, stand, or present their bodies during regular health check-ups by the animal care staff.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, strict PPE protocols have been followed by zookeepers who work near the most vulnerable animals.
As a precaution, the zoo has halted feeding giraffes and otters.
“This proactive measure is an extra layer of protection. The health of the animals in our care, staff and guests is our top priority,” said MacLean.