At Zoo to You, even the animals are vaccinated against COVID-19

tiger at zoo to you.JPG
Posted at 1:44 PM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 16:52:42-04

Animals can get COVID-19 from humans and each other so all the staff at Conservation Ambassadors Zoo to You in Paso Robles are vaccinated and many of the animals are, too.

"They're all very handleable and we do animal husbandry behaviors where we can give these guys injections and take blood and take temperatures and things like that," said David Jackson, Conservation Ambassadors Zoo to You Director.

The animals get multiple vaccines every year, so they've been trained on how to take shots and are used to the process.

"She puts her paw outside the cage like this and I can give her an injection right there in the arm if I wanted to," Jackson explained. "Or we can just as easily dart them."

Zoo to You has vaccinated their primates and big cats against the COVID-19 virus based on industry recommendations.

"For some reason, the primates and cats have been the ones who have gotten it the most," Jackson said.

But so far, none of the animals at Conservation Ambassadors has contracted COVID-19.

Jackson said staff also wear masks and socially distance when showing off the animals.

"We don't have a huge staff and we're not open to the public so we don't have the concerns that most zoos do with things like that," Jackson said. "The only time that the animals come in contact with the public is when we take them out to go to a school program and we're at a very, very safe distance, usually 15-20 feet minimum."

He added that none of the animals have shown any side effects from the vaccines.