I can’t resist linking to a recent story from the San Francisco Chronicle. The story involves two of my alma maters: the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the Oakland Zoo.
When I applied to veterinary school, UC Davis (which, as a Californian, was the only school I could possibly afford) required a huge number of academic prerequisites. The school also required all applicants to have significant animal experience outside of pet ownership. To meet the requirements, I volunteered at the Steinhart Aquarium (at the California Academy of Sciences) and the Oakland Zoo.
Both places treated me very well. I learned a lot, had a great deal of fun, and got into vet school.
The Steinhart Aquarium opened up a new and phenomenal facility with much fanfare a few years ago. And, I am pleased to learn that the Oakland Zoo has broken ground on a huge new veterinary facility that will benefit not only the zoo’s patients, but also UC Davis veterinary students. Below are some choice quotes from the article.
The $10.8 million hospital will include an intensive care unit, radiology department, research laboratories, pharmacy, surgery rooms and other amenities. Everything from a 5-gram frog to a giraffe will find solace there.
Zoo animals won’t be the only critters undergoing treatment. Mountain lions and California condors will be regular patients, as well. The zoo will take sick or injured condors from the California Condor Reintro- duction Program in the Big Sur area. Currently, those birds are sent to the Los Angeles Zoo for treatment. The mountain lions will arrive via the Bay Area Puma Project, a Sausalito nonprofit that works on educating the public about the elusive felines.
Helping the zoo’s vet staff will be students from UC Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine.
With the new hospital, the zoo’s involvement with UC Davis will increase, helping future generations of veterinarians get practical experience with a wide gamut of animals, from African elephants to Mexican tarantulas.
Congratulations to the Oakland Zoo!