Vaccines are now being given to select Calgary Zoo animals with the intention of getting nearly 70 animals immunized against Covid-19.
The Zoo said Thursday that beginning April 5, they started administering a shipment of Covid-19 vaccines. They received a donation from Zoetis and join four other accredited zoos in the animal welfare push.
Earlier this year, the Calgary Zoo kept a mask mandate in place for any visitors going into the Rainforest building. They did so to protect the expectant western lowland gorilla mom, Dossi.
They were going to continue the mask mandate and review it periodically, based on other health care factors like the availability of vaccines.
Now, Dossi is among the first to receive the vaccination, along with fellow gorilla Kimani. The Calgary Zoo’s snow leopard, Leika, the Amur tigers Samkha and Sarma, their Bactrian camel Ollie and some of the lemurs will be the first to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
The zoo said that 66 animals would get three vaccinations each. They would get a booster in a year. All of the animals that will receive vaccinations were selected based on a risk-benefit analysis done by the Animal Care, Health and Welfare team, the zoo said.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Zoo has had protocols in place to protect animals from the Covid-19 virus.
That has included personal protective equipment being worn around all species. They’ve also had further setbacks of visitors from habitats.