Saturday, July 16, 2016

Welcome to Texas: Dallas Zoo Vet Hospital Edition 2

Name: Eliza Hanes
Class Year: 2018
Hometown: Vestal, NY
Internship: Vet Hospital Intern
Location: Dallas Zoo

One of the Cougars at the Dallas Zoo
As I get ready for week seven of my internship here at Dallas I have a lot to look forward to yet! Upcoming, I get to shadow the cat row keepers for a day, the reptile keepers for a day, and I get to present my project to the staff in the vet hospital. When I shadow the keepers on cat row, the species that I will get to see are the cougar, the bobcat, and the ocelot. While in reptiles I am not entirely sure which species I will be working with, but I am super excited for all the information that I will learn. I am still working hard on my tiger project and as the date for presenting gets closer and closer, I am getting excited to present the final project. 

Earlier this week, I got to shadow the keepers in the Savanna. Abigail and I switched internships for the day so I spent the morning in the giraffe barn. I worked with Chris and Allison, and got to clean the feed yard (where the

An albino crocodile in the reptile building
giraffe feeding occurs), North Donga (one of two yards for the warthogs), and the giraffe holding yards. After cleaning those, I got to watch them shift the animals on exhibit that day. That day was the first day that the lechwe were put on exhibit with the giraffe. I really enjoyed being able to see this introduction between species occur. The animals that were on exhibit that day were the greater Kudu, lechwe, ostrich, giraffe, and guinea fowl. After the animals were on exhibit, I went back to the giraffe barn and helped Allison and Chris clean the giraffe barn. We finished that right at lunch time, and since Abigail is in the registrar in the afternoon, I left the Savanna to go work on my project. Overall, I really enjoyed the time that I got to spend in the Savanna.
The vet hospital has been pretty exciting lately with a new vet student that started and a few visitors. The vet student is a fourth year student from Brazil, and I have really enjoyed getting to know about what their school system is like as well as what their zoos are like. She is a super nice person and I have gotten the opportunity to work closely with her as she and I work together to set-up for and take down procedures, as well as we both accompany the vet techs for treatments.

Me all ready for a procedure
This week we also had a visiting vet student come from Fossil Rim. Fossil Rim is a wildlife center that primarily has hoof stock species. We had an exciting big cat procedure on Thursday this week, so Fossil Rim’s vet department arranged for her to be able to be here for it. She is a second year vet student and was super excited to be there for the procedure. Just before lunch, I was able to give her a tour of the hospital, as well as take her into the zoo to see her favorite species, the African Elephant. This was the first tour of the vet hospital that I had given, and while it was not completely smooth, it turned out okay.

That day we also we visited by Dr. Kramer, the Otterbein alumni who set up this internship, and an
old Dallas Zoo board member. As you can imagine, with all of these visitors, the hospital staff, and the carnivore staff, radiology (the room where we do most procedures) got pretty full. Even though it was a rather full room, I learned a lot through that procedure, and I helped where I could. Mostly I just filled out the anesthesia sheet for the techs. This sheet consists of tracking the anesthesia, the oxygen level, heart rate, respiration rate, temperature, and medications given to the animal. This is something that I am asked to do during many procedures to free up the techs, but every time I fill one out, I learn something new.

An Aoudad at Fossil Rim
This weekend, Abigail and I went to Fossil Rim. Fossil Rim is a really cool place to go and I highly recommend it to anyone who travels in the area. It was a bit of a drive for Abigail and I to get there, but it was definitely worth it. When you purchase your ticket to go in, you can also purchase a bag of food to feed to the animals. They ask that you do not hand feed anything but the giraffes, rather throw the food on the ground for the animals. While on our trip, we saw many hoof stock species, some friendlier than

Abigail was super excited to be this close to a zebra
A gemsbok at Fossil Rim, a more stand-offish animal
others, and of course also got to see some of the Texas driving that we are now getting accustomed to. Some of the animals at Fossil Rim are very bold and will walk right up to your car and may even stick their heads in your window! Others are more timid and will be more stand-offish than that.
On my last blog I touched on the Dallas weather that we see here. While it rains a little bit less now, all the weather still stays the same, hot, but not quite 100, and when it rains, it rains. This time I shall touch on the Dallas drivers. Honestly I think it is seen throughout all of Texas, but I have not traveled far enough to say for sure. When Rachel and Lauren, the Otterbein students who were interns here last year, warned me about Dallas traffic, I was expecting never ending traffic jams. While we have
As seen on the right, passing a vehicle on the shoulder
seen a fair amount of traffic jams, I now realize more of what they meant. Half of the time when I make it back to the house I am relieved that my car, Abigail, and myself are all safe. Dallas driers are very aggressive and do not always follow the rules of the road. Abigail and I have seen cars merge across four lanes of traffic without looking, pass another vehicle on the shoulder of the road, and pass another vehicle using the turn lane. As you can imagine, driving like that can cause a lot of accidents, and that is the truth. Every morning we watch the news, and there is always at least one, but typically two or three car accidents in the Dallas area before we even leave for the zoo at 6:25AM. Dallas driving is definitely crazy, and while I will miss a lot of things when I return to Columbus, the traffic and driving are definitely not on that list.

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