On Saturday, Sept. 18 the Henry Vilas Zoo will host a pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic on zoo grounds as part of their International Red Panda Day celebration.
The clinic will be open from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and will be available to anyone over the age of 12. Both Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be offered.
“Many of the animals at Henry Vilas Zoo are susceptible to COVID,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Getting the vaccine is the easiest way to help protect our community and our animal friends at the Zoo.”
Guests who get a vaccine will gain access to the zoo’s Education Pavilion where animal docents will have animal ambassadors out. Anyone who gets a vaccination will also be entered to win a special Behind the Scenes tour of the zoo and will have the opportunity to learn more about how the Zoo is protecting their animals from COVID.
“We know shots can be scary, especially for younger people,” said Outreach Coordinator Kristin Moala. “We’re hoping that by providing a fun environment we can help ease some of those fears. It’s also a great way to educate people about the connection between wildlife trafficking and zoonotic diseases.”
“COVID-19 was preventable,” added Moala. “Zoonotic diseases are a threat to both humans and animals worldwide. More than two-thirds of all emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic. That is why the Association of Zoos and Aquariums have launched ‘Reduce the Risk,’ an initiative that aims to reduce zoonotic diseases by combating wildlife trafficking.”
Red pandas are one of the most trafficked animals in the world. Henry Vilas Zoo works with the Red Panda Network to help build anti-poaching networks made up of local stakeholders who patrol red panda habitat, remove traps, and educate people on the importance of conservation.
The zoo will also have activities going on to celebrate International Red Panda Day. Events include story time, a zookeeper chat, crafts, and more. For a full list of activities, visit www.henryvilaszoo.gov/red-panda-day.
For more information about the clinic contact Kristin Moala at 608-283-1651.