Animal Health Care
Animal healthcare is at the top of our priority list. Here are the steps we take to take care of our animals.
Veterinarians regularly visit the zoo. Visits occur every three to four months. Our vet will spend a longer time observing our larger animals. Our smaller animals are transported from the zoo once a year for a general checkup and vaccinations. Animals visit the vet if they exhibit an illness or suffer an injury.
Our zoo keepers complete welfare/health checks on a daily basis. Animals are observed regularly, and anytime there is a change in behavior our vet is made aware and a treatment plan is put in place. Zoo keepers also ensure animals receive any supplements or medications. When an animal's medication is not ingestible, keepers will apply the medication, whether it is ointment or eye drops. Keepers will also check exhibits to make sure nothing in the exhibit could be potentially harmful to our animals.
Annual vet checkups help us collect data on our animals. Vaccines are updated, blood samples are pulled and notes are made of the animals' body condition. Zoo keepers work to maintain trusting relationships between keeper and animal so that zoo animal's can feel comfortable showing signs of injury or illness. Animals often will hide anything if they feel sick or if anything is wrong, this is a basic instinct of survival that protects them in the wild.
Each animal has a specific diet formulated by animal care staff and vet recommendations. What animals would eat in the wild, types of food available and food amounts are all taken into consideration when these diets are developed. Our animals will also give our staff different cues related to their diet. Whether it is not being fed enough, too much, eating too fast or if the animals dislikes the food, our staff notes those behaviors. Staff records animal appetites and looks for consistency and patterns in their behavior to help identify any indication of illness or behavioral changes. Diets can change based off of the records kept on each animal.
To ensure animal health, please do not feed zoo animals. Should one of our animals get sick, knowing what they have eaten or ingested makes a difference in how quickly and effectively we treat them. Contact zoo staff immediately if you sees fellow visitors throwing objects or food into animal enclosures.