PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — We’ve all heard about people being inoculated after coming in contact with animals.

But orangutans at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium got shots today to protect them from people.

“The flu is actually the human flu and it can pass from people to our great apes to our gorillas and orangutans here at the zoo,” says Dr. Ginny Takle, director of animal health. “What’s so great about the orangutans is that they’re actually active partners of their health care program.”

Kimmie, 34, is very cooperative. “She will turn to her side and then she will press her muscle up to the bars. And what that allows us to do is safely give her an injection from the other side of the bars.”

Immediately following the shot, Kimmie is rewarded with a treat of peanut butter on a Dixie cup. The health team has a strong rapport with their patients.

“One of our veterinary technicians comes down at least once a week and works specially with our orangutans on different behaviors,” Dr. Takle says. “One of them is for injections, looking at fingers, looking at toes, listening for their lungs.”

And making sure we don’t give them the flu.

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
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