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Animals at Reid Park Zoo will soon get vaccinated against COVID-19

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Posted at 5:23 PM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-04 20:20:38-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Reid Park Zoo will soon be vaccinating the majority of their animals against the virus that causes COVID-19.

"We know it goes to numerous species across the board. It is a very adaptable and very unique virus," said Chief Veterinarian Dr. Alexis Roth.

She says they have never had an animal test positive, but doses are set to arrive in about a month as a preventative measure.

“This will be a series of two vaccines just like it is in people. You get your first vaccine, and then three to four weeks later you get your second.”

Roth says primates, big cats and creatures who come in closer contact with people will be at the front of the line.

According to the CDC more studies are needed to understand how different animals are affected. So, a vaccine is not yet available for your animals at home.

“Domestic species like dogs and cats are also susceptible and have tested positive for the virus; the vaccine is not available to the public or your local veterinarian,” said Roth.

Roth says some zoo animals are just as or even more susceptible to COVID than humans.
She hopes vaccinations and guests wearing masks will keep her patients safe.