Animals held in captivity at zoos did not choose to be there. That's why it's so tragic that 13 gorillas at an Atlanta zoo got COVID-19 from being so close to humans. The good news is, there is a vaccine against COVID-19 that's specific to animals. Given that they can't protect themselves and we are choosing to put them in close proximity to humans, we must vaccinate all eligible zoo animals immediately!
Sign the petition if you want the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to begin considering vaccinating eligible animals as a requirement for continued accreditation.
The AZA is a nonprofit organization in the United States that monitors zoos and aquariums for things like animal welfare. The facilities that obtain this accreditation are usually more ethical with their treatment of animals than their non-accredited counterparts. That's why the organization should do more to protect animals against potentially deadly COVID-19 infections.
The gorillas who got COVID in Atlanta are western lowland gorillas and it's believed they contracted the virus from a zookeeper, who was vaccinated and had a breakthrough case. This is a great example of why we have to use every tool we can to protect against the disease. Had the gorillas already received their Zoetis vaccine -- the vaccine developed for animals -- many or all of them may have been protected. Instead, 13 of them are sick! One of them is over 60 years old and therefore at extra risk of death!
Gorillas at other zoos have also gotten COVID and so have snow leopards. It's clear that animals are not safe from the virus and we must protect them!
Please sign the petition to ask the AZA to require all zoos to vaccinate every eligible animal against COVID-19!