Philadelphia Zoo begins vaccinating animals against coronavirus

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Charlie, a female ring-tailed lemur this week became the first animal to receive a special vaccination against the emerging coronavirus (Covid-19) at the Philadelphia Zoo.

The Philadelphia Inquirer said Charlie was part of a group of 10 animals, including four other ring-tailed animals, four western lowland gorillas and a Sumatran orangutan, to get their doses of vaccinations.

Within the coming weeks, 113 animals in the same zoo will receive the vaccine, which contains two doses from a shipment of 240 doses provided by Zoetis, a former subsidiary of Pfizer Inc., based in New Jersey that develops medicines for animals.

Nationwide, there have been documented cases of zoo animals becoming sick with Covid-19, including gorillas, snow leopards and tigers, at San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, and just last week in Atlanta, western lowland gorillas were found to have contracted the virus.

Keith Henshaw, Philadelphia Zoos director of animal health, said that no cases of infection had been confirmed at the zoo, but two cases of gorillas had developed possible mild symptoms, which led to tests but it turned out to be negative.

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