The Louisiana Zoo is starting COVID vaccinations on apes and tigers.


The Louisiana Zoo is starting COVID vaccinations on apes and tigers.

Monkeys are getting the COVID-19 vaccination first, followed by tigers and otters at one of the country’s most prominent zoos. Following that, the entire kingdom might be inoculated.

This week, the world-famous Audubon Zoo in New Orleans began immunizing primates, starting with orangutans and gorillas. Then there are the other primates, the cat family, and the mustelids, which include badgers, otters, weasels, ferrets, wolverines, and minks. Then there are any other mammals that could contract COVID or spread it.

According to a report in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the vaccine provided to these animals has been approved by the US Department of Agriculture.

“This is not the same vaccine that has been licensed for emergency use in people,” said Bob MacLean, the Audubon Zoo’s senior veterinarian. “This is a vaccine created for animals using a different technology.” Here’s a video of MacLean discussing the animal vaccine to combat COVID-19.

“We shouldn’t have to anesthetize any of our animals to give them this vaccine since most of our animals that we wish to vaccinate are trained for behavioral injections,” MacLean stated in the video.

Employees that work with animals at zoos frequently strive to build characteristics that make them more comfortable with vaccinations. What exactly does that imply? A primate, for example, may come to the edge of its cage and lean forward, often to be poked by little more than a tongue depressor, in order to train the animal to be comfortable with whatever shots it may receive.

“Other immunizations are given to our animals,” MacLean explained. “We vaccinate all mammals against rabies, and many of our animals receive vaccines against the West Nile virus, distemper, and other diseases to which we know they are susceptible.”

“Our animals’ health and safety are our top priorities. We do have animals that are known to be COVID sensitive. With all of our vulnerable animals, we’ve been employing masking and distance wherever possible.” According to MacLean, there have been no cases at the Audubon Zoo so far.

The Audubon Nature Institute is a large region along the Mississippi River in New Orleans. This is a condensed version of the information.


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