The Phyllis and Otto Frei Animal Medical Center at the Biblical Zoo was established in 2000 and includes an operating room with diagnostic equipment, a lab, animal hospitalization rooms, and an isolation area, where new animals stay. The building is designed for the treatment of all animals at the zoo, except for the large ones- elephants, giraffes, and rhinoceros, which are treated at their respective homes as needed. Preventative care is a very important part of zoo animal care.
The preventive care program includes:
These measures are taken to enable alert in the event of morbidity.
In some cases, there is a need to anesthetize the animals to evaluate and treat the problem. With large animal anesthesia, a tranquilizer gun is used with arrows. Depending on the situation, decisions are made as to whether the animal should be hospitalized or treated in place. To ease veterinary treatment, there are training methods for some of the animals. With the aid of these training methods, cooperation between the animal and the veterinary team can be achieved and thus relieve some of the animal’s tensions. Thanks to the high level of care from the zookeepers, a wide range of animals has been trained for various medical examinations, including the elephants, giraffes, tigers, and chimpanzees!
Nutrition – there is much importance to the nutrition of zoo animals. There exists a direct connection between the level and quality of nutrition and size, breeding capacity, and sickness. At the Biblical Zoo, the animals’ diet is meticulously assessed, and a specialized menu is designed for each animal. Often, the food includes special nutritional supplements.
Veterinary research- an additional important component of the work at the hospital is the promotion of veterinary research projects connected to animals in captivity as well as in the wild. For example, insemination of the female Asian elephant and the birth of Gabi the baby elephant was a success, thanks to long term research and international collaboration.
• Dr. Nili Avni-Magen, Zoological Director and Chief Veterinarian
• Dr. Arieh Litvak, Substitute Veterinarian
• Dr. Avital Paz, Veterinarian and Nutritionist
• Dr. Elizabeth Kaufman, Aquarium Veterinarian
• Haim Cohen-Gadol, Clinic Director
• And a large team of volunteers!
Veterinary Research and Initiatives Performed at the Zoo:
The zoo is a member of the European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians (EAZWV) and is also active in the European College of Zoo Medicine (ECZM).