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Ross Vet School Unites with TBZ

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Eight soon-to-become veterinarians from Ross University spent a week of training at The Belize Zoo.  These eager and talented students, under the proficient guidance from their professor, Dr. Lewis Bogdanovich, assisted in important vet procedures, and shared their knowledge and experiences with the animal management crew at the Zoo.  Based in St. Kitts in the Caribbean, they journeyed to Belize so that they could experience tropical wildlife vet medicine, as well as visit areas in our country where wildlife is evident and visible.

 “Ollie” the ocelot does not realize that he is a lucky spotted cat, thanks to the Ross Vet School training program.  Ollie is no youngster, and we knew a thorough examination should happen in order to determine good management care for our beloved oldster “Ollie”.  With The Belize Zoo’s supreme “knock out machine”, “Ollie” was easy to fully examine, and follow up treatments were then put to order.

Besides attending to various important surgical procedures, the Ross Vet School team also introduced novel behavioural enrichment projects for Belize Zoo animals.  For instance, “Liz” the river otter is a favourite animal to visit for many of our zoo guests. We have provided our “Liz” with her very own hard rubber red ball, and she loves to dive after a coconut, too.  But Dr. Lewis introduced another item for her entertainment.  An “otter pop”.  This is so simple and fun, and an otter delight!  Here is the recipe:  Take one hard boiled egg, leave in its shell, and freeze in a bit of water.  Then toss to otter “Liz” this “ideal”, and watch the magic!  She dives after the ice and makes heroic attempts to “free” the egg.

“Marchismo” our young male tapir who was born right here at the “Best Little Zoo in the World”, was in need of superficial wound care.  The students readily saw that our friendly Mt. Cow boy got their full attention.   Repeated visits to “Marchismo” resulted in all of the students, and yes, Dr. Lewis, too, falling in love with him.  They all decided that as a parting activity and expression of care, Ross Vet School student group at The Belize Zoo would “adopt” our “Marchismo”.   Thru our “Adopt and Animal” program, “Marchismo” will have a long-lasting relationship with his Ross Vet School friends.
Does it get better than this?  Yes!  Animal Management Supervisor, Humberto Wohlers, who has been working at the zoo for over twenty years, will be undertaking training at Ross Vet School later this year.  His knowledge about important vet procedures will be reinforced by working with Ross Vet School students and professors.  Of course, Humberto’s subsequent sharing of his experiences from Ross Vet School with our zoo staff, will certainly work to empower Belize Zoo animal care.


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