‘Dying suddenly’: Vaccinated animals at zoos worldwide

FPI / July 19, 2023

In May of this year, WFAA ABC-8 News reported the death of 7-year-old African elephant Ajabu at the Dallas Zoo.

Ajabu died after a 12-day battle with a elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus (EEHV) viral infection, the zoo announced.

“Despite the round-the-clock care and heroic efforts of his animal care and veterinary teams over the last 12 days, along with support from zoo teams across the country, Ajabu laid down in the barn on the evening of Monday, May 8 and simply could not fight any longer,” the zoo said in a statement.

Ajabu had previously faced the infection, which is common in elephants, in March 2021 and survived, the zoo added.

In a September 2021 report, NBC-5 of Dallas/Fort Worth noted that area zoos planned to vaccinate animals against Covid-19.

The report said both the Dallas and Forth Worth zoos “will use the COVID-19 vaccine made for animals and donated by Zoetis, an animal health company.” The report added: “Neither zoo has had any animals test positive for COVID-19.”

In a July 17 substack.com report chronicling the sudden deaths of several animals at zoos, Mark Crispin Miller noted: “Elephants in captivity tend to live up to 40 years.”

The “died suddenly” toll, Miller added, includes: 2 elephants; 2 giraffes; a chimpanzee; a black rhino; a koala cub; a sloth; a squirrel monkey; 5 meerkats; a fox; a deer; a python; a lemur; a Golden Eagle; a sea lion, a cheetah; and 4 lion cubs.

Also in May of this year, Nakili, an eastern black rhinoceros who for decades lived at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo, was euthanized “due to worsening degenerative kidney disease. The 33-year-old pachyderm was the oldest male eastern black rhino living in an accredited North American zoo and arrived at Brookfield in 1994 when he was 4 years old, Chicago Zoological Society officials said,” the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The Chicago Zoological Society announced in September of 2021 that Brookfield would begin vaccinating its “high-risk” animals against Covid-19.

“Rhinos in captivity can ordinarily live up to 44 years,” Miller noted.

In another report from May of this year, Emara, a 12-year-old Masai giraffe was found dead in the African Savannah yard at the Calgary Zoo.

“The veterinary team doesn’t know what caused her death, the zoo said in a news release. A necropsy will be done to determine the cause,” Canada’s Global News reported.

“Losing any of the animals we love and care for is heartbreaking but it’s especially so when the passing is unexpected,” Calgary Zoo officials said.

An April 22 report noted that the Calgary Zoo vaccinated a total of 66 animals initially with yearly booster updates planned based on a risk assessment. It was reported elsewhere that giraffes were high on the vaccination list due to interactions with humans during feeding.

The “average lifespan of a giraffe in captivity is 32-40 years,” Miller noted.

Last month, the Brevard County Zoo in Florida announced the death of Wonton, a 21-year-old Saga deer.

In August 2021, CBS News reported: “Deer are considered high danger for transmission of Covid to humans and most zoos targeted them for their Covid-19 ‘vaccination’ program.”

In the substack.com post, Miller details the tragic deaths of animals in zoos across the globe.

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