Sarah Chapman, Head of Veterinary Services at Twycross Zoo, commented: “We have been working closely with the University of Nottingham for more than three years, and because our veterinary department has expanded over recent years to include a second vet and a veterinary resident, this new facility will enable us to teach the vets of tomorrow in high quality surroundings, alongside veterinary experts in the field of zoo medicine.”
Final year students enrolled in the University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science attend the zoo on a weekly basis to learn clinical and pathology skills, conduct research projects and behavioural observations and gain an understanding into what the job of a zoo vet involves. An improvement on the former zoo vet facilities, the centre now provides dedicated clinical areas for diagnostic purposes, including: radiography, ultrasound and endoscopy, with separate recovery space for the animals.
“My aim is for Twycross Zoo to become a centre of excellence for the teaching of zoological medicine and surgery within the United Kingdom. The funding from the University of Nottingham has enabled us to further raise the standard of our facilities and show students how exotic animals should be cared for, in this specialist area of veterinary medicine. This is excellent timing for Vicky Strong who has just started a four year training post in clinical and zoo research at Twycross Zoo, a position funded by the University.” Sarah said.
Sharon Redrobe, CEO of Twycross Zoo, added: “I am very proud Twycross Zoo is so closely affiliated with the University of Nottingham Veterinary School at such a high level. The main aims of Twycross Zoo are conservation, education and research; we have many students from the University of Nottingham carrying out research projects within the zoo throughout the year, including a PhD to study Elephant Herpes Virus. This feeds into our overall mission to provide the animals with the very highest level of welfare.”
The official opening was attended by Gary England, Foundation Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, representatives from the University of Nottingham Veterinary School, including clinical professors and project managers, and the team from Twycross Zoo.