Many of the Zoo’s endangered, threatened species recently received a COVID-19 vaccine for animals as a preventative health measure.
In efforts to provide optimum health care for its animal family, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden recently vaccinated select species for COVID-19. Zoo animals at the highest risk for contracting COVID received the vaccine made exclusively for animals and authorized for use by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The OKC Zoo vaccinated 40 animals including its large and small cats – African lions, Sumatran tigers, mountain lions, jaguar, bobcat, clouded leopards, fishing cats, serval and caracal. The Zoo’s Western lowland gorillas, Sumatran orangutans, chimpanzees, North American river otters and ferrets, education ambassador animals, were also vaccinated.
“Amidst the challenges of the pandemic, we have kept our animals healthy and now we can further protect these vulnerable species from COVID with access to this vaccine,” said Dr. Jennifer D’Agostino, Oklahoma City Zoo’s director of veterinary services. “Preventative care is a vital part of our veterinary program and we will continue to rely on the science behind successful measures like vaccines to ensure our animals’ health and well-being.”
The Zoo’s veterinary team worked closely with animal caretakers to administer the COVID vaccines. Many animals willingly participated in receiving their injection thanks to successful training techniques implemented by the Zoo’s animal care teams. Medical training is a critical part of our animals’ welfare and our teams strive to encourage participation by creating rewarding, positive experiences for the animals in their care. Veterinary team members and caretakers were monitoring all animals following the first round of vaccines. A second dose of the vaccine will be administered to these animals in the weeks to come.
The Oklahoma City Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except on Christmas and Thanksgiving, with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. Purchase advance tickets at okczoo.org/tickets and avoid the entry lines. Guests 11 and older are strongly encouraged to wear a face mask when in indoor habitats and Zoo buildings. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the OKC Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free.
Stay connected with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linktree and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming a ZOOfriends member. Starting at $45, memberships can be purchased at ZOOfriends.org and provide access to the OKC Zoo for an entire year plus, additional benefits and discounts. To learn more about Zoo happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.