On par with Dane County’s human population, 80% of local zoo animals have received the COVID-19 vaccine

MADISON, Wis.– Whether you have two or four legs, hair or needles, you are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. And Henry Vilas Zoo staff reminded humans and animals of this over the weekend, in a pop-up clinic.

About 250 children, adults and animals received their first, second or booster dose on Saturday at the Madison Zoo.

“Since children over the age of 5 are now eligible for the vaccine, we thought this was a place where they would feel more comfortable,” Kristin Moala said of the zoo’s decision. organize a vaccination clinic.

Like humans, many species can catch COVID, including big cats, primates, river otters, skunks, and even badgers. That’s why the zoo trainers started vaccinating the animals a few weeks ago, using a special strain of the vaccine, so as not to harm the “human” supply.

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“Most of the time a lion will come and let their trainer vaccinate them in exchange for a meatball or something,” Moala explained. “It’s an entirely voluntary process. They can leave anytime.

Similar to the human population of Dane County, about 80% of Henry Vilas’ animals have chosen to be vaccinated. Species are also trained to receive other regular vaccines, including rabies vaccines.

“It shows that our animals are not that different from humans,” Moala said. “We all still need to take COVID seriously.

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