As more Americans continue to get the total dosage of the Covid-19 vaccination, the safety protocol now includes animals at one of the most highly revered zoos in the country.

On Monday, the Detroit Zoo announced that it is undergoing the early stages of delivering Covid vaccination shots to its most vulnerable animals.

The zoo said it has begun vaccinating some of its most popular animals who could be more susceptible to contracting the virus. These animals include tigers, lions, chimpanzees and gorillas.

The vaccine that has been utilized is specifically for the zoo animals and is created by the pharmaceutical company Zoetis. The United States Department of Agriculture officially authorized the use of the vaccine for the zoo animals on a “case-by-case basis.”

“Many of the mammals are trained to present themselves to our animal care staff for minor medical procedures, including vaccinations,” Scott Carter, the Detroit Zoo’s Chief Life Sciences Officer, said in a statement.

He also noted that the animals regularly “get other vaccinations,” and the team is “thankful” that the “special vaccine” is now accessible for protection.

Speaking to Newsweek, Dr Ann Duncan, the Detroit Zoo Director Of Animal Health, said that the odds of zoo animals contracting a virus are not high, but safety measures should still be encouraged. “It’s not extremely common for animals to be infected with [the virus], but we think it’s important to provide this safeguard since we can,” she told the outlet.

Dr Duncan further explained that the zoo prioritised the animals most in danger of contracting the virus, such as big cats, certain types of minks, otters, and ape species. Fortunately, none of the animals in the Detroit Zoo have contracted the virus.

The Detroit Zoo isn’t the only zoo to make the most out of this vaccine for its animals.

KSAT-TV, an ABC-affiliated news outlet, reported that the San Antonio Zoo in Texas is expecting vaccines to be shipped in the upcoming weeks. 

Moreover, the Detroit Zoo also mentioned that Zoetis is donating more than 11,000 doses of the vaccine to 70 zoos and over a dozen to sanctuaries, conservatories, and various organizations across 27 states in the country.

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