Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg has begun administering COVID-19 vaccines to 55 animals in its care.
“Fortunately, we are now able to bring in a vaccine developed for animals, especially for animals, and begin rolling out the vaccination for the animals in our care,” Dr. Chris Enright, director of veterinary services at the zoo and animal welfare, said in a phone interview Tuesday with CBN. C News.
Assiniboine Park said in a press release that while there has not been a single case of COVID-19 among animals at the Winnipeg Zoo, others have had some fatal cases.
Winnipeg Zoo is one of a number of certified facilities in Canada that vaccinate animals against COVID-19.
“Our employees are really passionate,” Enright said. “There is literally no one who cares about animals more than the people who spend their lives working alongside and for animals.”
The zoo said the animal vaccine is made by New Jersey-based veterinary drug company Zoetis, specifically to protect species at greater risk of contracting the disease.
Development of the vaccine began when the pandemic began, according to Einwright, and it became widely available last year.
“This is not a vaccine that strays from any human vaccine,” he said. “It is a vaccine made and intended for animals.”
“So it is not about competing with people and developing countries [for vaccination] Because they are literally completely different vaccines.”
The zoo’s press release said that animals that have close interactions with human caregivers are most likely to contract COVID-19.
Animals receiving COVID-19 vaccines will include:
- Amur tigers, snow leopards and other cats.
- White-handed gibbons, squirrel monkeys and other primates.
- Camels, goats and llamas.
- Skunks and meerkats.
The vaccinations will be given in two doses, approximately three weeks apart.