Through the State of Florida, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission will provide the funds
Zoo Miami Foundation is pleased to announce that it has received a $500,000 appropriation from The State of Florida for Zoo Miami’s new animal hospital. The funding was sponsored by Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez of FL and Representative Anthony Rodriguez of FL. Senator Annette Taddeo of FL who sits on the Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Committee helped secure the funding request. The Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission will assign the state funds to Zoo Miami.
Zoo Miami’s current animal hospital opened in 1986 with one veterinarian, one technician and served less than 1,000 animals. Today there are four vets, four techs, and support staff who manage the healthcare of more than 3,000 animals from 500 species, of which 150 are listed as vulnerable, threatened, endangered or critically endangered. We now also serve as a triage point for injured native endangered animals in collaboration with government wildlife agencies and as a safe haven for vulnerable avian and other species during severe storms.
The hospital is the nerve center for our zoo. The facility contains surgical and exam rooms, radiology,
a basic research laboratory, in- and outdoor recovery rooms, and offices. With a new facility, more laboratory tests can be done in-house to save on costs, and the vet team will be able to treat a greater scope of animals with proper equipment, hospitalization, and recovery areas.
Our goal has always been to provide premium care for all of our animals, with particular focus on the
critically significant and endangered species we house. In order to offer premium care, it is essential to have an experienced veterinary team (already in place) and an animal care facility that meets today’s modern standards followed by other Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions and private state-of-the-art veterinary hospitals.
With minimal updates over the past 30 years, general wear and tear and with the growth of number of
animals and species, we must build a new veterinary hospital at Zoo Miami. The new hospital will enable our animal health team to provide the best possible care in an environment that meets the needs of the staff and the animals. And with the construction of a new sea turtle rehab facility on zoo grounds, the hospital will provide vital diagnostics and treatment resources.
The new animal hospital will also allow Zoo Miami to better support state efforts to control invasive species (we are the preferred site for surgical procedures involving invasive reptile species research); provide federally endangered Florida bonneted bats with medical/rehab care (injured/sick bats are transported for assessment/therapy); assist in rescue/rehab of federally endangered Florida panthers (we participate in captures/studies with National Park Service and Florida Fish and Wildlife teams); augment care of injured/sick federally threatened American crocodiles (staff expertise, geographic location, and unique holding infrastructure is a critical resource for FWC and USFWS); provide emergency medical care to federally endangered Key Largo wood rats during reintroduction efforts; do testing and screening protocols that serve as vital monitoring for new/emerging pathogens that threaten human health and agricultural industry; and attract vet students to further their education 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 animal hospital appropriation,” said Eric Eikenberg, Chair of the Board for Zoo Miami Foundation.
“Without the support of our state’s administration, we would not have the necessary funding needed for the new hospital that will provide state-of-the-art medical facilities for our effective and talented vet team to provide excellent care for our animals,” said Bill Moore, President & CEO of Zoo Miami Foundation.