Zoo in Chile tests covid-19 vaccine on lions and tigers

Product is also being tested in the US and other countries.

Published in 16/12/2021 - 06:32 By Rodrigo Gutierrez e Gerardo Gomez - Repórteres da Reuters - Santiago

At the Buin Zoo on the outskirts of Santiago, the Chilean capital, a veterinarian wearing a tiger-striped mask administers an experimental covid-19 vaccine to a tiger, while another employee feeds the animal pieces of raw meat through a pair of long tweezers.

Zoo Buin, like others around the world, seeks to keep its animals safe from the new coronavirus, and is administering an experimental formula donated by global animal health company Zoetis to its ten most susceptible animals, said zoo director Ignacio Idalsoaga.

On Monday (13), lions, tigers, cougars and even an orangutan received the vaccine.

"We are using an experimental vaccine that will produce short-term results that will allow us to develop a vaccine that is not on the market today," said Idalsoaga.

"These are the first doses produced worldwide, which will allow for scientific precision and later mass production to protect all animals from this deadly virus in zoos like ours."

Buin Zoo began looking for ways to keep its animals safe after learning that they - like people - are susceptible to the new coronavirus.

After conducting and publishing research on dogs and cats last year, Zoetis is testing the vaccine in different zoos, mainly in the United States (USA), said Cristian Dunivicher, an animal technician at the company.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of animals transmitting the coronavirus to people is low, but the virus can spread from people to animals during close contact.

Text translated using artificial intelligence.

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