(CBS DETROIT)- As COVID-19 cases continue in humans, official’s with The Detroit Zoological Society taking precautions to ensure some susceptible animals are protected against the virus.

A recent study by veterinarians across the country shows Tigers, Lions, Gorillas and Chimpanzees are among a group of animals more susceptible to COVID-19, therefore starting this week, the Detroit Zoo is starting to vaccinate those animals.

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“We’ve vaccinated 20 animals at the Detroit zoo against COVID-19, and we’re looking forward to vaccinating 20 plus more in the next week or so,” said director of animal health for the Detroit Zoological Society Dr. Ann Duncan.

Dr. Duncan who cares for several animals at the zoo says, fortunately no animals have tested positive for COVID-19 there, but they have at other zoo’s in the country, and a tiger and lion died from the virus at zoo’s in Europe and India.

In addition to vaccinating they are taking other safety precautions to protect the animals from the virus.

“We’ve been keeping our distance from the animals trying to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet, also for the most susceptible animals we’ve been wearing N-95 masks,” Dr. Duncan said.

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The animals are not receiving the same vaccines as humans, a press release by the Detroit Zoo says the Kalamazoo Michigan company that’s providing shots applied decades of experience in developing the vaccine.

“The veterinary pharmaceutical company Zoetis’ have been working to try to develop a vaccine specific for use in zoo animals, and have been going through the testing and approval process through the USDA and state veterinaries so we could put the vaccine into use,” Dr. Duncan said.

Dr. Duncan says otters and the zoo’s wolverine will also be vaccinated against COVID

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April Morton