OAKLAND, Calif. — As part of a nationwide effort to preserve animal species using an experimental COVID-19 Vaccination, a zoo in the San Francisco Bay Area is vaccinating its big cats, bears, and ferrets against the coronavirus.
The Oakland Zoo’s tigers Ginger and Molly were the first two animals to receive the vaccination this week, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Zoetis, a veterinary pharmaceutical firm based in New Jersey, donated and produced the dosages.
The zoo’s vice president of veterinary services, Alex Herman, said no animals had contracted the illness, but they wanted to be cautious. The first of two dosages were given to tigers, black and grizzly bears, mountain lions, and ferrets. Following that are primates and pigs.
She claimed the zoo has employed barriers for social distance and personnel has donned protective gear to safeguard vulnerable species in a news statement. She stated, “We’re delighted and relieved to be able to better safeguard our animals with this vaccination.”
According to the press release, Zoetis is giving more than 11,000 doses for animals residing in almost 70 zoos, as well as more than a dozen conservatories, sanctuaries, academic institutions, and government agencies throughout 27 states.
Great apes and felines share 98 percent of their DNA with humans, making them particularly vulnerable. Coronavirus has been confirmed in gorillas, tigers, and lions at zoos, as well as household cats and dogs.