January 29, 2020
Animal care is at the heart of what we do every day at the Zoo. Our curators and zoological managers from each animal unit selected their favorite 2019 accomplishment for animal care.
In 2019, the Carnivore staff, working along with the veterinary staff, had success in training many of the carnivores for multiple health procedures, including vaccinations and blood collections. Training these behaviors with positive reward techniques reduces stress for the animals and allows animal care staff to work safely with carnivores without having to employ anesthesia. The tigers, grizzly bears and polar bear all participated in voluntary blood draws for health monitoring.
In addition, three of cheetah Bingwa’s daughters were trained to go into their transport crates several weeks prior to the shipment to a Zoo in Nebraska.
All of these procedures were a result of our team working together on foundational behaviors and animal relationships, as well as collaborating with veterinary staff to use best methodologies, and Facilities Maintenance staff who helped build chutes, foot ports and other tools to help us safely achieve these goals.– Steve Bircher, Curator of Carnivores
2019: The Year in Animal Care – Primates