Metroparks Zoo working to protect animals from mosquitoes & West - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Metroparks Zoo working to protect animals from mosquitoes & West Nile

Flamingoes are one of the many animals vaccinated at the Cleveland Zoo. (Source: WOIO) Flamingoes are one of the many animals vaccinated at the Cleveland Zoo. (Source: WOIO)

Many of us keep an eye out for mosquitoes at dusk and early morning but most of us never worry about West Nile Virus.

The folks at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo do, and they spend a lot of time and effort making sure the animals are safe. 

"West Nile is a virus and we vaccinate all our birds against it, especially when they first enter the collection they get three shots and then a yearly booster,' said Curator Travis Vineyard.

Vineyard said they watch for the same things humans do, like standing water where mosquitoes breed.

"Mosquitoes like standing and still bodies of water. Notice our water around us is pumped and filtered through," Vineyard said. 

But birds of a feather don't always stick together. So while they have thousands of birds, they are selective in choosing who gets a shot and who doesn't.

"These are birds that are out and have inside outside access 24 hours a day," Vineyard said. 

At dusk and dawn is when mosquitoes usually bite. Just like humans; elephants, wolves, and  onagers are susceptible too.  So next time you take a walk in a park, know the mosquitoes are watching you, and the Zoo is really watching them,.

"Our animals can catch West Nile just like humans, that's why we take the precaution and vaccinate them," said Vineyard. 

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