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Houston Zoo animals get COVID-19 vaccinations

Nearly 100 animals have been vaccinated so far with no significant adverse effects, according to the Zoo.

HOUSTON — From gorillas to goats, dozens of animals at the Houston Zoo are being vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

The Zoo is using a vaccine developed and donated by Zoetis, a veterinary pharmaceutical company. 

Nearly 100 zoo animals have been vaccinated so far with no significant adverse effects, according to the zoo.

Some, like the big gorilla, were more challenging than others. They received vaccines while under anesthesia for routine medical exams.

Zookeepers used treats like chunks of meat to distract the big cats before they got the shot. 

The smaller animals were easy peasy, and some didn't even seem to notice they were getting stuck.

Each animal received two doses of the Zoetis vaccine approximately three weeks apart. It was developed especially for animals using a different process than for people. 

“The health and well-being of our animals is our top priority, and the vaccine adds another layer of protection,” said Kevin Hodge, vice president of animal programs at the Houston Zoo. “Thanks to our animal keeper and veterinary team’s consistent training techniques, many of our animals participated in their own medical care when they received each dose of the vaccine.”

Since the pandemic started, the Zoo said it hasn't had any cases of animals infected with the COVID virus.

Guests can learn more about the animals at the Zoo by attending one of the daily Meet the Keeper Talks, presented by Phillips 66

WATCH: Capybara pups make their debut at Houston Zoo

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