toronto zoo vaccine

Anti-vaxxers are furious that the Toronto Zoo is protecting its animals with vaccines

The Toronto Zoo is taking fire from the anti-vaxxer community again after recently announcing that it had received 320 doses to inoculate 120 animals against COVID-19.

There's a sixth wave bearing down on Toronto, but you wouldn't know it from a trip to any major destination in the city. And as crowds return, the Toronto Zoo is doing what it can to protect its most vulnerable residents.

"We are happy to report we have had no positive cases in any of our animals throughout this pandemic and being able to add this extra layer of protection allows us to continue doing everything we can to provide them with the highest level of protection and medical care," said Dolf DeJong, CEO of the Toronto Zoo, in a video posted to YouTube.

It's a science-based decision meant to ensure the safety of animals susceptible to the virus, so naturally, conspiracy-consuming anti-vaxxers are turning it into a whole thing.

One commenter, a self-described "freedom fighter," said that "The Toronto Zoo have lost their damn minds" despite a bio claiming to be "anti-mandates" and not "anti-vax." To be clear, there's no mandate here. It's just vaccines for vulnerable animals. The horror, right?

Another tried to paint the move to prevent animals from dying unnecessarily as "animal abuse" by zoo staff.

But those who follow the "freedom of choice" school of anti-vax thinking may be pleased to know that, as unbelievable as it sounds, the animals are actually given the choice of whether to participate in the zoo's vaccine program. However, that might be a bit of an exaggeration.

Zoo staff train animals to willingly present an area of the body (with a little assistance from food) to prepare them for injections, and the animals only get the shot if they want the reward. Otherwise, the zoo claims animals can walk away at any time.

Animals are given doses two-to-three weeks apart, the specific zoo residents selected based on a COVID-19 sensitivity list developed through ongoing research and reports of positive cases in other zoos.

Similar vaccination programs have been active in U.S. zoos since 2021 and, contrary to the wild claims of online commenters, there have been no reports of any significant adverse effects to date.

COVID-19-related zoo animal deaths have been reported, yet these so-called freedom fighters want to make it seem like the vaccine is the greater threat, despite all evidence suggesting otherwise.

Lead photo by

The Toronto Zoo

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