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Texas Big Cat Rescue, Center for Animal Research and Education, to Protect Its Animals With COVID-19 Vaccine From Zoetis

C.A.R.E., a big cat and exotic animal rescue, plans to protect more than 50 rescued and special needs big cats and lemurs with a COVID-19 vaccine made specifically for animals and donated by Zoetis

Selena Tiger at CARE
Selena Tiger at CARE

Selena the tiger at the Center for Animal Research and Education (CARE)

BRIDGEPORT, Texas - October 20, 2021 - (

 The Center for Animal Research and Education (C.A.R.E.), a non-profit that cares for big cats and other animals, plans to vaccinate its residents this fall with a COVID-19 vaccine uniquely made for animals and donated by the animal health company Zoetis. Each animal -- including lions, tigers, leopards, bobcats, lemurs, and llamas -- will receive two doses, approximately three weeks apart, to provide protection from illness due to SARS-CoV-2. Experimental use of the Zoetis COVID-19 vaccine is being authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state veterinarian.

To ensure the animals' safety, C.A.R.E. closed to the public for educational tours in March of 2020 resulting in the loss of thousands of dollars a month in donations. Once the animals are vaccinated, there is hope of reopening on a limited basis so that both funding for the care of the animals and public awareness about the animals can continue. 

"The past year and a half has been emotionally and financially draining for us at C.A.R.E.," said Executive Director Heidi Krahn. "While we have experienced a loss in donations, we made the decision to put our animals' health first. We are thankful to Zoetis for donating these vaccines that will enable us to reopen safely and put our minds at ease."

While the animals at C.A.R.E. will be vaccinated, there will still be precautions in place to protect C.A.R.E.'s most at-risk animals, like 24-year-old black leopard Raven. Raven was recently named the oldest living leopard in captivity by Guinness World Records. While Raven is in great health for her age, more than 10 years over the normal life expectancy of wild leopards, she is still very fragile. The vaccine will help protect her from exposure from her primary caretakers, but visitors will likely not be allowed to get within 10 feet of her enclosure to make sure she is safe. 

About C.A.R.E.

The Center for Animal Research and Education (C.A.R.E.) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue and long-term care of exotic animals as well as education and research that improves quality of life in captive populations.

The facility currently provides a permanent home to over 60 animals including lions, tigers, leopards, cougars, bobcats, serval, lynx, ring-tailed lemurs, llamas, and a tortoise. Most of the animals came to C.A.R.E from private owners who could not care for them or were retired from zoos or rehomed from other facilities. Regardless of where they came from, they are all given tremendous love and world-class husbandry. To learn more, visit 

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Heidi Krahn

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Original Source: Texas Big Cat Rescue, Center for Animal Research and Education, to Protect Its Animals With COVID-19 Vaccine From Zoetis
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