A San Francisco Bay Area zoo is inoculating its big cats, bears, and ferrets against the coronavirus as part of a national effort to protect animal species using an experimental vaccine.
Tigers Ginger and Molly were the first two animals at the Oakland Zoo to get the vaccine this week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday. The doses were donated and developed by veterinary pharmaceutical company Zoetis in New Jersey.
Alex Herman, vice president of veterinary services at the zoo, said none of the animals have gotten the virus, but they wanted to be proactive. Tigers, black and grizzly bears, mountain lions, and ferrets were the first to receive the first of two doses. Next are primates and pigs.
In a press release, she said the zoo has used barriers for social distancing and staff have worn protective gear to protect susceptible species. “We’re happy and relieved to now be able to better protect our animals with this vaccine,” she said.
Zoetis is donating more than 11,000 doses for animals living in nearly 70 zoos, as well as more than a dozen conservatories, sanctuaries, academic institutions, and government organizations located in 27 states, according to the press release.
The San Diego Zoo started inoculating primates in January after a COVID-19 breakout among a troop of gorillas at its Safari Park.
Great apes share 98 percent of their DNA with humans and are especially susceptible, as are felines. Confirmed coronavirus cases include gorillas, tigers, and lions at zoos, and domestic cats and dogs.
Animals starve in Lebanon’s zoos as economy crumblesThin and frail, the two big cats scarcely moved as they lay on the concrete floor of their cage while, nearby, an emaciated Syrian brown bear ... Middle East
UN bodies set up ‘One Health’ expert panel to advise on disease spread from animalsThe World Health Organization and three other international bodies have formed a team of experts to help develop a global plan to prevent the spread ... Coronavirus
Russia produces first batch of COVID-19 vaccine for animals: RegulatorRussia has produced the world’s first batch - 17,000 doses - of COVID-19 vaccines for animals, its agricultural regulator said on Friday. ... Coronavirus
Russia creates world’s first COVID-19 vaccine for animals: WatchdogRussia has registered the world’s first vaccine against COVID-19 for animals, the country’s agriculture safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor said on ... Coronavirus