It’s widely accepted that apes are relatives of ours, so a little reflection might suggest that now’s the time for the National Zoo’s infant gorilla to get his flu shot.
And in fact, the zoo’s seven-month-old western lowland gorilla did got his first flu shot last month, according to the zoo.
If doubt existed, scientific studies have shown that gorillas, no less than their human cousins, are indeed susceptible to flu.
The zoo said on Friday that the infant, who is named Moke, got the shot, “in keeping with our health care regimen.”
Details were not immediately available, and the date of the shot, along other information, could not be learned at once.
It was not clear what sort of needle was used to inoculate Moke, or in what arm the shot was administered. Or how he reacted. Did he give a gorilla grimace?
However, it does appear that he is carefully observed.
When he stepped upon a scale in his enclosure, the zoo said, the reading was 12.6 pounds. That indicated an increase of almost a pound in the last month, the zoo said.
In addition, when the animal, in the enthusiasm of play, opened his jaws wide, in the ways that dentists often ask, it was possible to see inside his mouth, according to the zoo.
That allowed for a census of teeth.
The count was 15, a keeper said on the zoo’s site.