Caring for animals is what we do at Wellington Zoo and in the past year, veterinarians at Wellington Zoo have provided advanced veterinary care for animal patients including two big cats, a tarantula and a capybara, as well as sick and injured native wildlife, thanks to a generous donation from Wellington Community Trust.
Last year, Wellington Community Trust gifted the Zoo a donation of over $300,000 to purchase new veterinary equipment for our animal and native wildlife hospital; The Nest Te Kōhanga.
Among the newly purchased equipment items is an EPOC blood gas analyser, which monitors a patient’s blood gas while they are under anaesthetic. This device was used during a general health check and a root canal on one of the Zoo’s elderly lionesses in March and more recently, during a health check on a female Sumatran tiger.
The blood gas analyser allows our veterinarians to monitor the effects of anaesthetic within the patient’s body, and gives our vets precise data on their O2 and CO2 levels, electrolytes, and the pH in their blood. This means that our vets can manage their respiration, anaesthetic levels, and adjust the fluids they administer so they can correct any imbalances or abnormalities in the patient’s blood.
Thanks to the generosity of the Wellington Community Trust, the Zoo has also purchased two capnographs, an endoscope stack, a portable ultrasound machine, two incubators and a microscope with a tv attachment. The upgraded hospital equipment has given our veterinary team more scope to perform a greater range of procedures and the ability to give our patients the best care possible.
With help from our new ultrasound machine, our vet team were able to confirm the pregnancy of our five-year-old female Capybara last year, and image the heart and abdomen of a tarantula! The new incubators and endoscope stack have been essential for treating native wildlife patients, especially our bird patients.
“The Wellington Community Trust (WCT) Board were looking for iconic projects and causes in the Wellington region to make significant donations to. Wellington Zoo was an obvious choice,” says Roger Palairet, Chair of the Board, Wellington Community Trust. “The WCT Board were surprised to learn that animals at The Nest Te Kōhanga were having operations and procedures with equipment made originally for humans. The purchase of fit-for-purpose medical equipment for the animals made sense and we know it will contribute to the overall wellbeing of not just the animals at the Zoo, but the many hundreds of native wildlife that are brought in from around the region for urgent medical attention,” says Roger.
We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received from Wellington Community Trust. With our new veterinary equipment, our vet team have the opportunity to push the boundaries and lead the way for treating and caring for animals at The Nest Te Kōhanga.