NEW ORLEANS —
Audubon Zoo's gorillas and orangutans are reportedly in the process of receiving their first dose of the animal COVID-19 vaccine thanks to the company Zoetis.
Audubon says it also plans to vaccinate cats and mustelids such as otters at Audubon Zoo and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in its next series of vaccinations.
Officials say Zoetis is donating more than 11,000 doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to help protect the health and well-being of more than 100 mammalian species living in nearly 70 zoos as well as more than a dozen conservatories, sanctuaries, academic institutions, and government organizations located in 27 states.
The new vaccine has been authorized for use on a case-by-case basis by the United States Department of Agriculture and the appropriate state veterinarians.
"It's very important to us to protect our animals against COVID-19 and the delta variant," said Audubon's senior veterinarian Bob MacLean. "We have been evaluating the scientific literature on animal susceptibility throughout the pandemic, and we are eager to protect our animals."