When it comes to the care and conservation of animals at the zoo, the vet helps decide.
âWe have decided to vaccinate our lions, tigers, lynxes, snow leopards and baboons,â said DiVincenti.
After learning about positive COVID cases in other zoos across the country, medical staff have decided that employees and visitors aren’t the only ones in need of protection from the virus.
“We decided to vaccinate them based on what we learned about the susceptibility of species in other zoos, so tigers, lions – all the big cats basically got infections in other zoos as well as some primates, like great apes, âhe added. .
Not only furry companions and felines were vaccinated. Our aquatic friend – the otter – as well as our great friends, such as giraffes, were also protected.
âOur giraffes are part of a public feeding program, so they are very exposed to the public. We felt it was important for us to protect them as well, âsaid DiVincenti.
The deputy zookeeper said the decision to vaccinate giraffes was based on a study which indicated that large spotted animals had some sensitivity to the coronavirus based on a molecular marker for accessing cells. He also says that the vaccine the animals received is very different from that of a human COVID-19 vaccine.
âIt’s a different vaccine than humans, so the biology of the vaccine is totally different. It looks more like a traditional vaccine, so more like an influenza vaccine where the side effects are much lower and less prevalent than the mRNA vaccines we have received, so we did not see any significant side effects, âhe said. explained DiVincenti.
The zoo says it just completed the round of vaccines about 10 days ago for at-risk animals and there are still about half of them left.