Wildlife Images Rehabilitation & Education Center performed 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 wellbeing 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. Kodi had also recently developed a skin condition that needed to be address. We were able to get a closer look at what was going on while he was under. We successfully treated the skin condition in the following weeks.
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 joints 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. Blood samples will be analyzed for both animals. 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 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.
Wildlife Images also received significant support from Wildlife Safari and its Head Veterinarian, Benjamín E. Alcántar Hernández, MVZ and his team including Dr. Erin Lane, Dr. Melanie Peel and Veterinary Intern Dr. Amanda Collins. Wildlife Images is incredibly grateful for the support from Wildlife Safari and the parks’ Veterinary Team.