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The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute this week vaccinated several of its primates against COVID-19, saying it was the start of coronavirus vaccination of animals in their locations.

The zoo announced in a press release Friday that staff administered the first round of two-dose shots to 11 animals on Wednesday: seven orangutans, a western lowland gorilla, a white-eared titi monkey and two emperor tamarins.

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A video posted by the zoo said that “the animals were rewarded with honey for their participation.”

The vaccine used by Michigan-based veterinary pharmaceutical company Zoetis was developed specifically for animals after the company noticed that a dog in China had contracted the virus at the start of the pandemic.

Zoetis said Press release in July that its shots were authorized “by the United States Department of Agriculture on a case-by-case basis” for an array of zoo animals, but said that the shots “are not necessary at this time in pets or livestock.” “

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The National Zoo also provided a status update on the lions and tigers under its care, who tested “presumed positive” for COVID-19 last month, adding that the big cats were “recovering well” and “Behaving normally, was eating and drinking.”

Vaccines will continue to be administered at the zoo and in the coming months at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, to select animals identified as susceptible species,” explained the zoo, “that lions and tigers will receive.” Vaccines cannot be given earlier than 90 days after infection.”

The National Zoo did not immediately respond to Granthshala News’ questions regarding vaccinations.

Tigers at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, DC.

Zoos in different parts of the country are increasingly immunizing myriad species with the Zoetis vaccine.

Denver Zoo and Oakland Zoo used jabs on some of their animals over the summer, CBS News informed of, and the Denver Zoo plans to do the same.

Granthshala 35 informed of On Thursday that ZooTampa has also started vaccinating its animals.

“Species such as Florida panthers, skunks, otters and primates top the vaccination list,” Granthshala 35 reported. “The zoo has received enough doses to vaccinate about 19 species including 93 animals.”