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Thank You Cornell Vet School!

Our colleagues and friends from Cornell Vet School applied their professional magic during a week of vet examinations at The Belize Zoo recently.  Vet students, these up- and- coming animal doctors, gained a great deal of knowledge, as they accompanied our zoo animal management staff.

What was on the examination agenda?  All of the monkeys were TB tested.  Yes, both howler and spider monkeys can carry TB.  And yes, they can pass on to the human species…Yet ANOTHER good reason not to have a monkey as a pet.  All of the monkeys were given a clean bill of health.  And SURPRISE!  Spider monkey “Monica” is pregnant!  We were all so elated to find out this happy news.  Breeding rare species at the zoo assists in seeing that our valuable animals will be here, in happy and healthy numbers, for years to come.

The jaguars at the zoo received very special attention.  Black jaguar “Lucky Boy” badly needed a  tooth extraction; remember his sad situation when he was rescued two years ago?  His sad condition showed all that he was in dire need of serious medical attention.  We have seen to it that his unfortunate health condition has steadily improved.  “Lucky Boy” came out of surgery like a shining star.

Newly-rescued jaguar, “Mistletoe,” also got the Cornell Vet School quality treatment. It was determined that lovely Mistletoe, who was nearly shot by the people who trapped her, also suffers from a tooth problem.  She weighed in at 86 pounds and all believe that Mistletoe is no older than five years. Good news for this pretty big cat, tooth problem addressed! And today, Mistletoe is a happier jaguar thanks to the quality care received.

Assisting the Cornell Vet team were Belizean vets,  Dr. Jane Crawford and Dr. Phillip DeShield.  Also along for assistance was Ms. Gliselle Marin. She is part of Dr. Crawford’s animal clinic and with a great show of expertise helped the team during their week at the zoo.

When the vet students were not busily doing medical procedures they undertook an important project which will be admired and seen by many in Belize. The students reconstructed the skeleton of our very own, “April the Tapir”.   Yes, April will be on view shortly, and will still be contributing to education efforts at the zoo!  Visitors will get a close up view of a skeletal Mountain Cow. Very cool!

The entire staff at the zoo extends a HUGE thank you to these fine doctors and dedicated professionals. Cornell Vet School, YOU ROCK!

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