Courtesy of the Maryland Zoo
Courtesy of the Maryland Zoo

The Maryland Zoo will administer COVID-19 vaccines to some animals over the next few months, particularly ones that have been proven to be susceptible to the disease.

Dr. Ellen Bronson, senior director of animal health, conservation and research at the Baltimore zoo, said though there hasn’t yet been any COVID-19 cases, the vaccine “will add another layer of protection.”

She said the zoo expects to receive upwards of 11,000 doses this fall from Zoetis, an animal health company.

The zoo plans to vaccinate animals such as the North American river otters, chimpanzees, cheetahs and lions.

“Many of these animals are trained to participate in their own health care, meaning they willingly work with the animal care team and veterinary technicians to receive injections, and in some cases to even allow blood to be drawn and have ultrasound examinations performed while awake,” Bronson said. “The training avoids the need in some situations to anesthetize the animal for minor medical procedures.”

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This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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