Atlanta, GA

Behind the scenes at Atlanta Zoo

Amy Cheribelle

Aside from core responsibilities such as feeding, cleaning, and training, the Atlanta Zoo's employees as animal care professionals are also responsible for various parts of the medical side of animal care, with involvement from the animals themselves.

One of those medical roles is to aid the zoo's vet ream with routine medical treatment such as vaccinations, blood draws, animal weighing, ultrasounds, and blood pressure readings. The team can conduct the above procedures while the animal is awake using positive reinforcement training, and the animals will participate voluntarily. If the animals choose to participate in the activity, the team will give them a food treat. If they refuse to participate, nothing happens, and they will try again later. However, this is not a regular occurrence, as the animals are usually eager to participate.

There are times when the staff needs to put the animals under anesthesia so that their vets can take a closer look at what is wrong with them. They also did this with their male sun bear Xander recently, and they were able to bring in a professional for dental examinations. Such procedures provide an excellent opportunity to understand an animal's health and demand a tremendous team effort to ensure that everything runs well.

These procedures, as well as the wonderful care and work done to guarantee their health and well-being here at the zoo, are lovely to witness.

Visitors who want to take part in one of the Zoo staff's everyday tasks can participate in the giraffe feeding experience at the Atlanta Zoo. During operating hours, the feeding times are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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Writer and Georgia native covering local stories

Atlanta, GA

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