An orangutan at the San Diego Zoo
Aisha the orangutan swings at San Diego Zoo. File photo courtesyof the Zoo

Four orangutans and five bonobos at the San Diego Zoo have received an experimental COVID-19 vaccine after the Gorilla troop was sickened by the disease.

The vaccinations, first reported by National Geographic, used a vaccine developed by the Parsippany, NJ-based animal health company Zoetis.

The shots were administered after the gorillas at the Safari Park contracted COVID-19 in early January. All later recovered, and their habitat has reopened for viewing.

Zoetis revealed in late January that it was working with the zoo on the possible emergency use of it vaccine.

“We are proud to be able to assist the San Diego Zoo Global veterinary staff and the animals in their care with their recent COVID-19 concerns,” said Dr. Mahesh Kumar, senior vice president of global biologics at Zoetis.

The company’s vaccine was initially developed for dogs, cats and minks.

Other zoos have reportedly requested the vaccine for their populations of great apes.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.