Dallas Zoo

Fort Worth, Dallas Zoos Plan to Vaccinate Animals Against COVID-19

Both zoos will use the COVID-19 vaccine made for animals and donated by Zoetis

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Two North Texas zoos intend to vaccinate some of their animals against COVID-19.

The Fort Worth Zoo said it plans to vaccinate its primates, felids — including jaguars, cougars and bobcats — and canid species, such as red wolves, coyotes, and swift and gray foxes.

The zoo did not have a timeline for when vaccinations will take place.

The Dallas Zoo said it has also requested vaccine shipments to inoculate its big cat and ape species "and are currently on the waiting list along with several other zoos across the country."

Both zoos will use the COVID-19 vaccine made for animals and donated by Zoetis, an animal health company.

Neither zoo has had any animals test positive for COVID-19.

In a July release, Zoetis said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized on a case-by-case basis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and "the appropriate state veterinarians."

Zoetis said that it would be donating more than 11,000 doses of the vaccine to nearly 70 zoos, as well as conservatories and other institutions across 27 states.

The company said it provided a supply of its experimental vaccines in January to the San Diego Zoo for use in its great ape population after several members of the zoo's gorilla troop were diagnosed with COVID-19.

The two North Texas zoos aren't the only ones in the state hoping to use the vaccine in its animal population. The San Antonio Zoo is also scheduled to administer its first doses of the Zoetis vaccine in the coming weeks.

“We are looking to initially vaccinate those species that have been shown to contract COVID-19,” said Dr. Rob Coke, director of veterinary care at the San Antonio Zoo in a statement on Facebook. “Species such as our large and medium cat species, lesser apes, other primates, mongoose, mink, ferrets, and otters are all on our list to vaccinate. Others will be added to the list as vaccine availability and research progresses.”

Contact Us