Kansas City, Missouri 2021-10-13 16:23:46 –
Audubon Zoo gorillas and orangutans are in the process of receiving their first dose of the animal’s COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the Audubon Nature Institute website, Audubon will also vaccinate cats and weasels, such as otters, at the Audubon Zoo and the Audubon Aquarium in the United States in the following series of vaccinations.
Zoetis has donated more than 11,000 COVID-19 vaccines to nearly 70 zoos, more than 12 greenhouses, protected areas, academic institutions, and government agencies in 27 states.
according to CBS NewsThe zoo joins the list of other zoos and aquariums throughout the United States that vaccinate animals against COVID-19.
The new vaccine has been approved for use on a case-by-case basis by the US Department of Agriculture and appropriate state veterinarians.
“Protecting animals from COVID-19 and delta mutants is very important to us,” said Bob McLean, senior veterinarian at Audubon. “We have evaluated the scientific literature on animal susceptibility throughout the pandemic, and we are eager to protect our animals.”
The Michigan-based Zoetis R & D team has applied decades of experience in developing other coronavirus vaccines for cats, dogs, poultry and cattle.
The Zoetis COVID-19 vaccine is uniquely formulated for animal species and is not drawn from the doses available to humans, the website says.
“There have been no long-term studies since the virus emerged within two years, but development studies by Zoetis have shown that vaccines are safe and reasonably promising to boost the immune response of animals.” Said MacLean.
All animals vaccinated in zoos and aquariums will voluntarily participate in health care through active reinforcement training and will not be anesthetized for vaccination.
According to the AuduPont Institute for Nature, they are trained to sit, stand and show during animal care and regular health checks by veterinary staff.
Animal welfare staff working near the animals most susceptible to the virus have followed strict PPE protocols since the outbreak of the pandemic.
As a precautionary measure for animal safety, giraffe food, otter food, and other close encounter guest opportunities at the zoo have been suspended.
“This proactive measure is an additional layer of protection. The health of the animals, staff and guests we care for is our number one priority,” McLean said.
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