WINNIPEG — Staff at the Assiniboine Park Zoo have started to vaccinate animals against COVID-19.
The zoo says they are using a uniquely-made two-dose vaccine for animals to protect species from contracting the virus.
“Vaccination is a very common, safe and effective way of protecting animals in human care from a variety of illnesses,” said Dr. Chris Enright, director, veterinary services and animal welfare, Assiniboine Park Zoo.
“In addition to other biosecurity protocols we have in place here at the zoo, vaccination against COVID-19 adds another layer of protection for the most vulnerable species in our care.”
Officials say while there has not been a diagnosed case of COVID-19 among the animals at Assiniboine Park Zoo, there have been a number of cases reported at other zoos, some of which have been fatal. Species most vulnerable to illness from COVID-19 include primates, felids, and animals that have closer interactions with their human caregivers.
In total, 55 animals will be vaccinated three weeks apart, including Amur tigers, snow leopards and other felids, white-handed gibbons, squirrel monkeys and other primates, camels, goats, llamas, skunks and meerkats.