West Nile Zoo Vaccinations

So far the West Nile virus hasn't made it into East Texas in people or animals and the Caldwell Zoo is trying to keep it that way.

The zoo in Tyler is taking new precautions to protect its animals from disease carrying mosquitos with West Nile vaccinations.

Breakouts of the virus in Houston and Dallas prompted zoo vets to give equine animals like the zebra and rhinoceros the two recommended doses plus a yearly booster.  Flamingos and other birds of prey are also getting the vaccination three times although its still experimental in their species.

"The protection is good in horses and possibly rhinos. It is questionable if the vaccine protects birds or not, but since that's the only thing we can do to protect them, we are doing it."

That's not all the Caldwell Zoo employees are doing, they're also adding a mosquito magnet and top water feeder fish to kill the larvae.  Both are designed to cut down on mosquitos which hopefully will cut down on the chances West Nile will invade East Texas.