It’s hard to believe it’s been more than six months since the new Animal Care Center opened—so this week, we’re offering some helpful tips to get the most out of your visit, and answering some of our most frequently asked questions:
When can I see veterinary procedures?
Come early! Like most doctor’s offices, our vets like to schedule patients as early as possible. On most days, they start working on the scheduled patients soon after the park opens. (You can check BuschGardens.com or our smart phone app to see what time the park will open before you arrive.) On most days, the vets will be done with patients before noon; that way they have all afternoon to handle any potential emergencies.
And then join us in the afternoons for our fantastic nutrition shows—you might even find yourself helping us make some of the great food for our animals around the zoo!
Do the vets do surgeries every day?
Even with 2,000+ patients, our doctors rarely have to do surgery on our animals. Most of the veterinary procedures are preventative or wellness exams, which happen on most days.
About once a week, our vets receive patients from wildlife rehabilitators, who bring us wildlife such as water birds, cranes, or birds of prey who have been injured somewhere in Florida. These cases often involve surgery.
Sundays are also usually a slow day in the hospital, which the vets use to get caught up on research and paperwork in the office.
Is there a way I can find out ahead of time what patients will be in the hospital?
Because of the unpredictability of animals’ medical needs, at this time we are not able to announce what patients will be in the hospital prior to each morning. We keep an updated list of the day’s patients on the monitors in the Animal Care Center’s kitchen, so you can check in with us when you enter the building.
What animals will I see at the Animal Care Center?
Our hospital is equipped to handle any animal up to 2,000 pounds, which includes all but our largest residents (elephants, rhinos, giraffes, and hippos—for them, our vets make house calls!). That means you might see just about any other animal from the zoo receiving medical treatment. When we don’t have patients in the hospital, we occasionally have animal guests from Jambo Junction join us for the nutrition shows. We also have a fun diagnostic activity in the hospital that features patients our vets have treated in the past.