Tune in on Saturday, November 9 AND Saturday, November 16 at 8:00 to see Wildlife Images’ Animal Ambassadors featured on Crikey! It’s the Irwins!
Wildlife Images Rehabilitation & Education Center will be featured on TWO upcoming episode of Crikey! It’s the Irwins on Animal Planet. The Grants Pass non-profit invited the filming crew and the Irwin family to document the health checks of the park’s two largest species, a brown bear named Kodi and Brady, the cougar.
Wildlife Images performs daily husbandry duties along with weekly and monthly evaluations on all Animal Ambassadors to ensure the health and well-being of its residents. However, more significant health checks must be performed on a regular basis. To accomplish dental work, blood draws, x-rays, and eye exams it is most efficient, and often less stressful for the animal, if ambassadors are anesthetized for the procedures.
Kodi, a 27 year old brown bear, was showing signs of arthritis. Wildlife Images also suspected tooth decay due to regular drooling. Both issues are common for bears of similar age. Two teeth were removed during the procedure. Medication will be adjusted to help Kodi’s arthritis. Wildlife Images was also able to get a closer look at and treat a skin condition that had recently developed.
Wildlife Images’ current cougar ambassador, Brady, is 7 years old. Since relatively young, the focus of his health check was to get baseline data for comparison as he gets older. During his procedure x-rays of his hips and ankles were taken, along with blood samples, and exams of both his eyes and teeth.
Both Brady and Kodi came through their health checks just fine. The success of these procedures is due in large part to Wildlife Images Vet Trust. A total of eight veterinarians with varying specialties consulted on the procedures. The facility does not have a staff veterinarian, instead relying on the generous support of several consulting vets. At the head of this team is Dr. Russ Codd of Lincoln Road Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Cassandra Bliss of Bliss Animal Eye Care did the eye exams. Dr. Kristen Mason of Redwood Equine Veterinarian Services also lended a hand with the x-rays along with Dr. Julie Bernier. Wildlife Images received significant support from Wildlife Safari and its Head Veterinarian, Benjamín E. Alcántar Hernández, MVZ. Wildlife Images relied on Dr. Darren Huddleston, a Grants Pass dentist, for dental checks on the two resident animals. Wildlife Images is extremely grateful to all the specialists who donated their time, skills, and materials to accomplish these procedures.
Terri Irwin, a long time supporter of Wildlife Images, assisted through both procedures, lending her expertise. The film crew from Crikey! It’s the Irwins documented the health checks and also spent significant time learning about Wildlife Images’ rehabilitation work and educational efforts. The episode featuring Wildlife Images will air November 9. Crikey! It’s the Irwins is in its second season. Wildlife Images was previously featured on the very first episode of The Crocodile Hunter in 1997 when Terri and Steve Irwin placed Terri’s beloved cougar, Malina, in the care of Wildlife Images. Since then, the Irwins have been supporters of Wildlife Images and personal friends of the Siddon family. They visit the park several times a year while on the West Coast.