Zoo Miami Foundation receives $500,000 from state for new animal hospital

Pictured (lr) are Robert M. Levy & Associates Chairman Jose Diaz, Zoo Miami Foundation (ZMF) Chairman Eric Eikenberg of the Everglades Foundation, Florida State Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, President and CEO of ZMF Bill Moore, director of Zoo Miami communications Ron Magill, Florida State Representative Anthony Rodriguez, former ZMF Chairman Jose Romano, de Baptist Health South Florida, and ZMF Director of Development Ronald Stayton.
(Photo courtesy of Zoo Miami)

The Zoo Miami Foundation recently announced that it has received a $500,000 credit from the State of Florida for Zoo Miami’s new animal hospital.

The funding was sponsored by State Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez and State Representative Anthony Rodriguez. State Senator Annette Taddeo, who serves on the Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Committee, helped secure the funding request. The Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission will direct state funds to Zoo Miami.

Zoo Miami’s current veterinary hospital opened in 1986 with one veterinarian, one technician, and has served less than 1,000 animals. Today, there are four veterinarians, four technicians and support staff managing the health care of more than 3,000 animals from 500 species, 150 of which are listed as vulnerable, threatened, endangered or critically endangered. extinction.

The zoo also serves as a triage point for injured endangered native animals in conjunction with government wildlife agencies and a haven for vulnerable birds and other species during severe storms.

The hospital is the nerve center of the zoo. The facility includes surgery and examination rooms, radiology rooms, a basic research laboratory, indoor and outdoor recovery rooms and offices.

With a new facility, more lab tests can be done in-house to save costs, and the veterinary team will be able to treat more animals with proper equipment, hospitalization and recovery areas. .

The aim has always been to provide quality care for all animals, with a particular focus on the zoo’s critically important and endangered species. In order to offer top quality care, it is essential to have an experienced veterinary team (already in place) and an animal facility that meets today’s modern standards followed by other institutions in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and leading private establishments. – art veterinary hospitals.

With minimal updates over the past 30 years, general wear and tear, and growth in the number of animals and species, Zoo Miami needs to build a new animal hospital. The new hospital will allow the animal health team to provide the best possible care in an environment that meets the needs of staff and animals. And with the construction of a new sea turtle rehabilitation facility on the grounds of the zoo, the hospital will provide lifesaving diagnostics and treatment resources.

The new animal hospital will also allow Zoo Miami to better support the state’s efforts to control invasive species (the zoo is the preferred site for surgeries involving research on invasive reptile species); provide federally endangered Florida bonnet bats with medical/rehabilitation care (injured/ill bats are transported for evaluation/therapy); assist in the rescue/rehabilitation of federally endangered Florida panthers (the zoo participates in captures/surveys with the National Park Service and Florida Fish and Wildlife teams); increase care of injured/ill federally endangered American crocodiles (staff expertise, geographic location, and unique holding infrastructure are a critical resource for the FWC and USFWS); provide emergency medical care to Federally Endangered Key Largo woodrats during reintroduction efforts; to make tests and screening protocols that serve as vital surveillance for new/emerging pathogens that threaten human health and the agricultural industry, and to encourage veterinary students to continue their studies in the hospital.

“We are grateful to Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez, Representative Anthony Rodriguez, Senator Annette Taddeo and the rest of the Dade delegation for their support in this appropriation of the animal hospital,” said Eric Eikenberg, president of the board of the Zoo Miami Foundation.

“Without the support of our state administration, we would not have the necessary funding for the new hospital which will provide state-of-the-art medical facilities for our efficient and talented veterinary team to provide excellent care for our animals,” said said Bill Moore, president and CEO of the Zoo Miami Foundation.

For more information and to offer your support, contact Ron Stayton, director of development, Zoo Miami Foundation, at 305-255-5551 or [email protected]


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Benjamin M. Yerger