Thursday, March 15, 2007

Pumas and Peacocks

Since I was unable to give an update of my various activities over the last few days, I'll give you all an update!

The Tiger Project continues to go well. Three more tigers were anesthetized as part of it on Tuesday and one additional tiger on Wednesday. The purpose of the immobilizations this week was to give the tigresses a hormone treatment (I can go further in depth for interested parties!) in preparation for next week when we will be doing artificial insemination (AI), oocyte collection and embryo transfer with these cats. We will definitely have a busy week of it next week! Tigers are the only thing on the schedule, though (inevitably with a collection this large) we will certainly have other creatures to look at as well.

Meanwhile, we saw some other creatures as well. Pictured at right is a Tiger Quoll (Dasyurus maculatus), a very interesting Australian marsupial that looks something like a spotted opossum with a large, bushy tail. He had a skin infection that needed to be looked at. We also looked at a round ray (I don't recall the species) that had a minor abrasion on her dorsum, a degu that was feeling under the weather, a bison that was losing weight.

I also drew blood from the peacock at left for routine testing before he is taken to another zoo and from the puma at right. And below is a picture of "Boop," one of 3 Blue Monkeys that had their routine physical exams and vaccinations done.

We also took a look at this Pronghorn antelope buck named "Goliath." (Here checking out Dr. Napier) About a year ago, he had a very severe fracture of his right humerus that required extensive surgery to fix. He is currently doing very well, except he moves gingerly when he gets up after lying down for awhile. He is definitely a favorite among the staff, and quite a nice buck.

Another fellow we took a look at today is "Biff," this little Dama Gazelle calf. He was hand-raised by the staff at the hospital and is currently being transitioned to life with the other Dama. He hasn't quite figured out yet that he is a Dama, but as you will see in the following movie, his legs know that's wheat he is! Unfortunately, it's not the greatest quality movie because of where I was standing, but you can see him do the very characteristic gazelle "spronk" which they do when they are particularly excited. He was having fun running around the paddock!

And to further expand on my previous post about the lemur species that have been discovered here, the picture at right shows a wall where they have the pictures of all of the species of Sportive Lemurs that were discovered here in 2006 alone. And pictured at right is one of the mouse lemurs. Many of these species have been differentiated from other species primarily through DNA analysis.

Well, that's about enough for today. I'll continue with more "Lessons" on any upcoming days when I don't have as much to report. If any readers have any special requests regarding information/pictures and/or discussion of certain species, procedures, or topics, please let me know!

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