Coronavirus

Zoos, scientists aim to curb people giving virus to animals

FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 8, 2021, file photo, a visitor with a mask observes an orangutan in an enclosure at the Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna, Austria. Around the world, scientists and veterinarians are racing to protect animals from the coronavirus, often using the same playbook for minimizing disease spread among people. That includes social distancing, health checks and a vaccine for some zoo animals. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Around the world, scientists and veterinarians are racing to protect animals from the coronavirus — often using the same playbook for minimizing disease spread among people.

That includes social distancing, health checks and a vaccine for some zoo animals.

A 28-year-old orangutan at San Diego Zoo Safari Park became the world’s first ape to receive a COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 26.

Conservationists are worried about the virus spreading among wild great apes, but aren’t currently planning a vaccination campaign. Instead, they are going to extreme measures to ensure that human trackers and researchers visiting the animals aren’t spreading disease.

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