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Sunset Zoo animals get COVID-19 vaccines

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) – Animals at Sunset Zoo in Manhattan are beginning to get updated on their COVID-19 vaccines because of the assistance of Okay-State Veterinary college students.

In the spring of 2022, Kansas State University says its zoo veterinarians and workers from the Sunset Zoo partnered to vaccinate most of the zoo’s animals towards COVID-19.

Sara Gardhouse, assistant professor of unique pet, wildlife and zoological medication, stated the COVID-19 vaccine for zoo animals is completely different than the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for people.

“The vaccine we are using is produced by Zoetis,” stated Gardhouse, who can also be a clinician within the Veterinary Health Center at Okay-State. “Zoetis has donated over 15,000 doses of this USDA authorized experimental vaccine to ensure protection of the animals in our zoos, conservation centers, academic centers and government organizations.”

Gardhouse additionally stated that whereas the vaccine differs in some methods – it nonetheless has numerous similarities to the human vaccine.

“The antigen, or virus, in the vaccine, is the same as in the human vaccines, but the adjuvant, or the ingredient used to promote a better immune response, is different,” Gardhouse stated. “This allows the vaccine to be safe for use in animal species. The Zoetis vaccine requires an initial dose, followed by a booster in three weeks.”

Okay-State famous that every one Sunset Zoo animals which require safety have obtained a minimum of their first dose of the vaccine.

“We are in the process of administering all of their boosters now,” Gardhouse stated. “The Sunset Zoo has focused on vaccinating animals known to be susceptible to the virus and in which species-positive cases have been reported. This includes a large number of the mammals and primates that the zoo has.”

The University stated Sunset Zoo is house to greater than 150 animals – together with hyenas, cheetahs, flamingos and an array of primates.

Gardhouse indicated that there have been outbreaks in primates, mustelids – members of the weasel household like otters and ferrets – and lots of felidae – cats – species in different zoos and amenities.

“The administration of vaccines to zoo animals is slightly different than administration of vaccines to humans,” Gardhouse stated. “For many of the animals at the Sunset Zoo, the keepers have worked hard to have them trained to receive injections.”

As of June 17, Okay-State stated Sunset Zoo has not seen any unwanted side effects of the vaccine within the animals.

“We are all thrilled that our animals are going to be protected, just like the humans that work with them,” Gardhouse stated.

“Sunset Zoo is grateful for the dedicated staff and leadership of the Veterinarian Health Center at Kansas State University that help give our animals excellent care, including these very important vaccines for the wellbeing of our animals,” stated Scott Shoemaker, zoo director.

For extra details about Sunset Zoo, click on HERE.

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