COVID: Experimental vaccination at a zoo in Santiago de Chile

Charlie and Sandai, a Bengal tiger and a Borneo orangutan, two endangered species, received their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Monday as part of a unique experimental program in Latin America led by the zoo in Santiago de Chile.

At 26 years old, Sandai “represents an important breeding ground for the species, which has prompted us to focus on its vaccinations,” Buin Zoo director Ignacio Idalsoga told AFP.

Charlie, despite being only three years old, already has a giant Bengal tiger, one of the largest cats in the world.

A veterinarian prepares an injection of a dose of vaccine against the coronavirus at the Buin Zoo in Santiago de Chile on January 3, 2022 (AFP / Archives – Javier Torres)

Both are part of dozens of animals that now have a complete vaccination program along with other big cats and great apes. He received his first dose of the vaccine on 13 December.

The administered vaccine is experimental and is not available for sale. Its formula is intended only for animals, which knows some similarities to that administered to humans, the main version used in the assisted living, explained veterinary laboratory Zoetis which provides the dosage.

The same vaccine has already been used on animals at the San Diego Zoo in the United States, but Chile (where 87 percent of the population over the age of three is fully vaccinated) is the first Latin America to start an animal vaccination program. is the only country of ,

Sebastian Salis, Head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine, explains, “The idea is to protect the most vulnerable animals from the coronavirus and, at the same time, to test whether vaccines produce immunity and how long this immunity lasts, much like humans.” is like.”

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To appease the animals during the bite, Charlie was offered a portion of fresh meat. Sandai was treated to copious amounts of their favorite food, sliced ​​bananas.

Charlie, a three-year-old Bengal tiger, was vaccinated against the coronavirus at the Buin Zoo in Santiago de Chile (AFP - Javier Torres) on January 3, 2002.

Charlie, a three-year-old Bengal tiger, was vaccinated against the coronavirus at the Buin Zoo in Santiago de Chile (AFP – Javier Torres) on January 3, 2002.

Unlike Washington, where six lions and three tigers were vaccinated against COVID-19 after testing positive in the middle of last year, no cases of coronavirus have been detected at the Beaune Zoo.

Gorillas at the Atlanta Zoo in Georgia were among the first to test positive for the coronavirus.

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