The Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo have winning partnership. Faculty and residents from the vet school travel to the zoo to provide specialized animal care. In return, Purdue’s veterinarians gain valuable experience working with exotic animals they might not otherwise encounter.
For both parties, sharing knowledge and experience adds value as they work to provide excellent animal care.
Purdue’s faculty veterinary ophthalmologist Jean Stiles and resident Ben Bergstrom visited Fort Wayne last week to perform eye exams on a variety of zoo species. The African black-footed penguins were among the list of patients, since penguins are susceptible to cataracts. Dr. Stiles and Dr. Bergstrom examined several members of the zoo’s penguin flock while the zoo’s director of animal health Dr. Joe Smith and veterinarian Dr. Kami Fox offered insight on exotic animal care. Other zoo staff assisted in holding the penguins safely for their exams (pictured below).
Dr. Joe Smith describes the zoo’s relationship with Purdue, “It’s mutually beneficial. Sometimes we call them up here for specific cases. Sometimes they contact us to gain experience with exotics. They’re doing this on their own time.”
Dr. Stiles and Dr. Bergstrom did note minimal cataracts in several of the penguins that zoo staff will monitor. No treatment is recommended at this time.
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