Toronto Zoo plans to vaccinate its 140 eligible animals against COVID-19

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The Toronto Zoo may soon vaccinate its animals against COVID-19.

It all depends on whether or not Canada gives the green light to vaccinate the Zoo’s animals. Dolf DeJong, the CEO of “your” Toronto Zoo, as he likes to call it, told Narcity that accredited zoos (especially in the United States) have started administering vaccines to their animals.

“People often forget that these animals look so much like us; primates, orangutans, we share a lot of that genetic material there. They can be prone to respiratory illnesses,” DeJong explained. “When you have the oldest orangutan in North America and a 29-year-old orangutan that’s pregnant, of course you’re going to put those tools into play to ensure their well-being.”

Puppe is the oldest Sumatran orangutan in North America and turned 54 in September, while Sekali is expected to give birth in April 2022.

There are 140 animals at the zoo that are eligible to receive the vaccine. In addition to gorillas and orangutans, lions, tigers, snow leopards, red river hogs, black-footed polecats and bats are some of the other animals that may receive the vaccine as soon as they are approved.

“We share this world with nature, and being able to have this tool and help people understand that these zoonotic diseases can move between animals and humans is essential to building this stronger relationship with nature and doing more for them. protect long term, here and in the wild, ”DeJong said.

The Toronto Zoo has previously announced that starting October 25, it will implement a mandatory vaccination policy for anyone who visits or works at the zoo and is 12 years of age and older.

“He is […] It is important to understand that some of our animals are susceptible to COVID-19 disease, including gorillas, orangutans, tigers and lions, to name a few, ”DeJong said in the ‘announcement from October 13. “We will use all the tools at our disposal to protect our animals and, in particular, species at risk of developing disease due to COVID-19. “

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Health Canada has a solid website with all the latest vaccine information and can answer all of your questions. Click here for more information.


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