BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO) – As more people get vaccinated against COVID-19, animals across the country are also receiving their dose of protection, The Gladys Porter Zoo is planning to do just that.
Dr. Thomas Demaar, GPZ senior veterinarian said no animals at the zoo have contracted COVID-19. But as the zoo returned to normal operations, they are still taking some precautions.
“The keepers are all vaccinated so we are able to have more contact with them and some of the programs have restarted like the giraffe feeding deck.” Dr. Demaar said.
Animals are able to receive COVID-19 vaccines for their animals by the Zoetis Company.
“The keepers are all vaccinated so we are able to have more contact with them and some of the programs have restarted like the giraffe feeding deck.
The zoo is still waiting to receive the vaccines. But the staff is still requiring visitors to keep following certain precautions like wearing a face mask when they are close to animals.
“We know that tigers can get it, lions can get it, gorillas and other species.” Dr. Demaar said. “One of our definite vulnerabilities is the giraffe feeding deck because I have unknown humans of unknown vaccine status interacting very close with my giraffes.”
Once the zoo receives the vaccines, it plans to get many of its animals vaccinated. But in the meantime zoo staff want to prevent any animal from getting sick.
“The challenge would be administering treatment you know for a severe respiratory disease we certainly cannot give them oxygen masks and have them carry around an oxygen bottle,” Dr. Demar said.
The Gladys Porter Zoo expects to get their vaccines by this summer.