A veterinary technician holds a baby panda

Animal checkups

A baby jaguar sits in a metal bowl as it is weighed on a small scale during its check-up

Many animals, like people, don’t just see the doctor when they’re sick—getting checkups and exams helps keep them healthy! At the Zoo and Safari Park, there are wildlife care specialists and veterinarians and other medical staff who work very hard to make sure all the critters are healthy as a horse—or panda, flamingo, or iguana!

A wildlife care specialist feeds a baby chick using tweezers

Checking in

As part of their duties, wildlife care specialists check the animals each day. They pay attention to how much each animal is eating, and if they are acting normal. Wildlife care specialists also keep an eye on the poop they scoop, too, because it holds clues to an animal’s health.

A wildlife care specialist rewards a tiger with a tasty treat for presenting their claws.

Say "ahh!"

Wildlife care specialists also teach the animals behaviors to help watch their health. Many animals have learned to step onto and stay still on a scale. This lets the wildlife care specialists track each animal’s weight. Some animals learn to present a paw or hoof for nail trims. And quite a few will stand still for an injection or to have a blood sample taken!

Baby koala joey about to be anesthetized so doctors could xray and examine him thoroughly.

Doctors on duty

Veterinarians and other medical staff take care of other needs such as vaccinations, injuries, and even surgeries. Whenever possible, check ups take place at the animal’s home, where it feels comfortable. With more than 6,500 animals living at the Zoo and the Safari Park, that’s a lot of house calls!