Oakland Zoo starts vaccinating animals against COVID

·1 min read

California's Oakland Zoo has begun vaccinating bears, big cats and ferrets against COVID-19 after being donated doses from Zoetis of its experimental shots.

Details: "Tigers, Black bears, Grizzly bears, Mountain lions and ferrets were the first to receive their first of two doses" this week, the zoo said in a statement. "Next are primates, including Chimpanzees, Fruit bats, and pigs."

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"Through protective contact, tigers are trained to voluntarily present themselves for minor medical procedures, including vaccinations," Oakland Zoo said in its statement. Photo: Oakland Zoo

  • Alex Herman, vice president of veterinary services at Oakland Zoo, noted in the statement that none of the animals had tested positive for the virus, but officials want to "reduce the risk of COVID-19."

The big picture: Zoetis is donating more than 11,000 doses of its vaccine to be administered to over 100 mammals in nearly 70 zoos, in addition to conservatories, sanctuaries, academic institutions and government organizations located in 27 states, per the Oakland Zoo statement.

  • San Diego Zoo administered Zoetis' vaccine to nine great apes after eight gorillas tested positive for the virus at the facility in January.

  • The vaccine is being tested on minks.

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