Posted on May 27, 2020 at 8:37 AM by Blog Author
The Blank Park Zoo’s Animal Health Team has the challenging responsibility, in assistance with keeper staff, of maintaining proper husbandry, nutrition, welfare, and medical care to the diverse population of animals that call the zoo their home. The most common question of “what’s a typical day like for a veterinarian at the zoo?” is a challenging question to answer because no two days are the same. Although we may try to have a plan in place for the day with schedule exams or rechecks, similar to your dog or cat’s veterinary clinic, new cases or emergencies occur regularly that will veer the direction of your day in an opposite direction than planned. The zoo requires you to stay on your toe’s moving from assessing or treating giraffes and rhinos one minute to fish and frogs the next.
The Blank Park Zoo prides itself in providing the highest standards of animal healthcare and welfare while collaborating with the zoo community to cultivate and share our knowledge. Part of our goal in cultivating and sharing our knowledge is to provide learning opportunities for veterinarians that are interested in gaining additional experience with animal care within zoological facilities. The Blank Park Zoo currently offers a one-year internship program for veterinarians to receive hands on training. The program is rigorous, demanding time not only at the zoo but outside of working hours, reading, researching, and publishing data obtained right here at Blank Park Zoo for the zoo community all over the world to be able to utilize. Although the veterinary interns are only at Blank Park Zoo for a short time, they leave with a solid foundation of knowledge that will continue to grow throughout their veterinary careers.
We want to thank Dr. Lauren Pudenz, our current veterinary intern, for all her hard work and dedication over the last year to the Blank Park Zoo, staff, animals, and the community of Des Moines. We all wish you the best of luck!