The endangered animals are also prone to get coronavirus. Therefore, in the Buin Zoo in Santiago, Chile they decided vaccinate against COVID-19 to Charly, a Bengal tiger ya Sandai, a Bornean orangutan, both species at risk of disappearing.
These two beings were immunized along with eight other animals, made up of three lions, two tigers and three cougars, as part of a unique experimental program in Latin America. The vaccines were a donation from the “Zoetis” veterinary laboratory.
As we mentioned in AmericanPost.Newss, some animals are more vulnerable to COVID-19, including several species of apes and big cats, according to the zoo.
Endangered animals were vaccinated without anesthesia
The first dose of the vaccine was administered on December 13; the second, on January 3. most of the species were immunized without the need to be anesthetized, after a long stimulus-based learning process to be able to inoculate the endangered animals of the place.
“It is a very long process but at the same time very beautiful. When they are very complicated behaviors such as an injection, where we already know that they are going to have a discomfort or they are going to feel the sting, the prize has to be greater than the hassle”, Explained Esteban Idalsoaga, head of the Zoo’s Animal Welfare Department.
They trained three-year-old Charly by giving him a good portion of fresh meat in his mouth. While 26-year-old Sandai was offered large amounts of bananas, his favorite food.
“Sandai is a unique specimen from South America, with an important reproductive potential for the species and that led us to focus on immunizing it,” explained the veterinarian and director of Buin Zoo, Ignacio Idalsoaga.
The training (which in the case of the Charly tiger took about six months) began at first by touching the thigh with a pencil, and then using a porcupine quill, without piercing the skin. Everything so as not to anesthetize them, since this could be a high risk to the animal.
Zoo animals in the United States have caught COVID-19
In the Buin Zoo in Chile, no cases of infected animals have been reported, but in the United States several animals have tested positive for the virus; Six African lions, a Sumatran tiger and two Siberians from the Washington Zoo were treated after catching COVID-19 in the middle of the year.
While gorillas at the Atlanta Zoo, Georgia, also tested positive for the coronavirus. The caretakers of the enclosure observed decreased appetite, coughing, sneezing, and lethargy among symptoms of COVID-19 in animals.
It should be noted that the vaccine used in animals in danger of extinction in Chile is in the experimental phase, since was developed solely for animals. The main difference from what is administered to humans is in the “carrier” or adjuvant, the laboratory explained in a statement. For now, none of the species has shown any reaction to the biological.
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