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At the OKC Zoo, Go Wild!

Category: Veterinary Science

The Opportunities and Challenges of Whole Life Animal Care

Compared to animals in the wild, those in human care tend to live significantly longer lives, sometimes doubling life expectancy. This presents unique challenges to Zoo staff and requires innovations to ensure quality of life is maintained for senior animals. Frequent issues faced by animals in their golden years are cataracts and dental problems. The Zoo’s veterinary staff are trained in oral health procedures like pulling teeth and have a number of specialists who consult... Read More
at Wednesday, January 29, 2020
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Cornea as High as an Elephant's Eye: Asha Undergoes Successful Treatment for Ocular Issue

Late this summer, caretakers observed female Asian elephant Asha, 24, demonstrating a “squinty” eye. This is not a common behavior and was initially treated with topical medication by Zoo veterinary staff. When the issue didn’t resolve after the initial round of treatment, teams determined it was time for an examination by an ophthalmologist. When dealing with animal ocular issues like Asha’s, the Zoo consults Dr. Jonathan Pucket, a full-time veterinary... Read More
at Monday, January 6, 2020
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Notes from the Field: Jennifer D'Agostino Embarks on Mission to Save Painted Dogs

Starting in 2017, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden partnered with the Painted Dog Research Trust (PDRT) to support its efforts to conserve the endangered African painted dog. Dr. Greg Rasmussen, PDRT founder and executive director, has worked for almost two decades protecting and studying the species, with populations totaling fewer than 7,000 in the wild. An essential part of the Zoo’s ongoing commitment to the PDRT includes sending staff members to Zimbabwe annually to... Read More
at Thursday, December 5, 2019
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Celebrating Animal Health Care Staff: Kaitlin Eagle, Veterinary Assistant

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is celebrating National Veterinary Technician Week, October 13 through October 19, by profiling our hard-working animal health care staff, including Kaitlin Eagle, Veterinary Assistant. How long have you worked at the Zoo? I started with the Zoo in January, but I’ve been working in the veterinary field since 2011 and in the zoo field since 2015. I started with Cincinnati Zoo’s Wild Encounters department in 2015 and then... Read More
at Thursday, October 17, 2019
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Celebrating Animal Health Care Staff: Stephanie Elliot, Veterinary Technician

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is celebrating National Veterinary Technician Week, October 13 through October 19, by profiling our hard-working animal health care staff, including Stephanie Elliot, Veterinary Technician . Stephanie, when Vet Tech Week arrived last year, you said seeing Kairavi (who just celebrated her first birthday) was your favorite memory. Has that changed this year? I’m not sure anything will ever top the birth of an elephant! What... Read More
at Wednesday, October 16, 2019
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Celebrating Animal Health Care Staff: Mark Romanoski, Veterinary Technician

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is celebrating National Veterinary Technician Week, October 13 through October 19, by profiling our hard-working animal health care staff, including  Mark Romanoski, Veterinary Technician. Mark, when Vet Tech Week arrived last year, you had been at the Zoo for only four months, now that you have more than a full year of experience, what’s been the most surprising aspect of the job? I was very surprised at how exciting it... Read More
at Tuesday, October 15, 2019
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Celebrating Animal Health Care Staff: Liz McCrae, Vet Clinic Coordinator

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is celebrating National Veterinary Technician Week, October 13 through October 19, by profiling our hard-working animal health care staff, starting with Liz McCrae, Vet Clinic Coordinator. Liz, congratulations on your recent promotion to veterinary clinic coordinator! Tell us a bit about your new role and how you are settling into it after three months?  My new role on the veterinary team is an exciting new endeavor and I am... Read More
at Monday, October 14, 2019
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Eye-dentifying a Solution: 19-year-old Lioness Undergoes Eye Surgery

When it comes to animal health concerns – there is no ‘lion’ around at the Oklahoma City Zoo.  During a morning body check in March, the Zoo’s carnivore care team observed a prominent squint in the left eye of 19-year-old lioness, Tia. Upon noticing this change in her health, Tia’s care team took immediate action and contacted the Zoo’s veterinary team to arrange an evaluation. Zoo veterinarians evaluated Tia’s left eye and... Read More
at Tuesday, June 11, 2019
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OKC Zoo Pioneers Elephant Stem Cell Treatment

The Oklahoma City Zoo continues to be a leader in the field of animal medicine, innovating a new stem cell-based treatment to improve blood flow and shorten recovery time. When geriatric elephant Bamboo, 53, experienced a minor tail wound, veterinary staff came together and made a plan to help accelerate healing. Tails have smaller blood vessels and take longer to heal, especially in older animals. The OKC Zoo veterinary team decided to launch a two-pronged treatment approach. First, the... Read More
at Wednesday, May 29, 2019
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