Traveling Veterinarians Help Reintroduce Kihansi Spray Toads

Traveling Veterinarians Help Reintroduce Kihansi Spray Toads

Traveling veterinarians help reintroduce once extinct in the wild, Kihansi Spray Toads in Tanzania. Veterinarians For the first time ever in the history of our world, in 2012, a special amphibian species was returned to their natural ecosystem after being extinct in the wild. Veterinarians played an important role in the success of the reintroduction of the Kihansi Spray Toads. It just goes to show that while veterinarians are popularly known to take care of cats, dogs and farm animals, they can also help to save an entire species. The job of a zoo veterinarian is to ensure the toads are healthy so that reproduction is successful. Collaboration It is the collaboration of Tanzanian universities, conservationists, scientists, animal keepers, directors and all of zoo administration, that made the success of release of the Kihansi Spray Toads possible. While many may think that this is a good ending to a story, I believe it is only the true beginning. Which is where I will start; at the beginning of a story. What drove these toads to extinction in the wild? Chytridiomycosis In an age when chytrid fungus is killing off the amphibian population at large throughout the world, the kihansi spray toads are only one of at least five-hundred affected amphibian species. Chytrid fungus causes a devastating disease called chytridiomycosis, which appears as infections of skin cells on the pelvis, belly and digits of frogs, toads and salamanders. The condition causes thickened skin, also known as hyperkeratosis, followed by sloughing of the affected skin. The chytrid fungus was not the main cause of extinction in the wild of the kihansi spray toads in 2009. The...
Travel Animal Doctor: World Health Day

Travel Animal Doctor: World Health Day

World Health Day is today, and food safety is the topic of the day. -Travel Animal Doctor But food is not the only daily requirement that, contaminated, can be harmful and may harbor disease. People have probably heard stories about waterborne diseases in developing countries, but it also occurs right at your back door. How would you feel if you stopped by the gas station for some coffee on the way to work, and was unable to get it because the water in the city was bad? This is what happened to a man going through Toledo, Ohio in August. In August 2014, 287,500 inhabitants of Toledo, Ohio were unable to drink their own water due to insurmountable algae blooms in their watershed for days. The algae bloom produces toxins that are deadly to humans. The algae also block the sunlight, causing death and stagnant growth to grasses in the water. These grasses provide habitats to shellfish and fish, and are a food source for waterfowl. As the algae dies, it decomposes at the bottom of the basin and depletes the water of oxygen. This oxygen is necessary for the survival of animals living in the environment, including eastern hellbenders, giant salamanders native to the Ohio watersheds. As a fortunate extern at the Toledo Zoo, I stumbled upon a conservation project that should be well recognized for its efforts. This project helps hellbenders throughout Ohio, and utilizes their populations in watersheds as early indicators of polluted waterways. The Toledo Zoo has successfully reared Eastern hellbenders, to be released into cleaned up watersheds around Ohio. There had been drastic decline of...
Endangered Bobcats- Travel Animal Doctor

Endangered Bobcats- Travel Animal Doctor

Before veterinary school, Travel Animal Doctor worked as a zookeeper, cleaning up after endangered bobcats and various other zoological animals. minicooper93402 / Foter / CC BY On a regular basis she cleaned up a bobcat habitat for three months. In veterinary school Travel Animal Doctor had the opportunity to work in zoological medicine with various exotic species. Veterinary internships and school allowed Travel Animal Doctor continued education with big cats. Travel Animal Doctor believes that endangered bobcats, and conservation of bobcats is an important topic that has not had significant public awareness. Bobcats are considered endangered by the Endangered Species Act in New Jersey and in Mexico. In the 1990’s they were popularly trapped and hunted for their fur and killed by farmers. It has been listed that there are 249 captive bobcats and between 750,000 to 1,020,000 left in the wild. Bobcats who are too habituated with human contact will lack necessary hunting skills and will starve in the wild. Bobcats are predators to small animals and can consume small pets with ease. Their normal diet consists of rabbits, birds and deer. In most states it is illegal to own a bobcat without proper licensing.   Owning a bobcat is a commitment and financial responsibility, and returning them to the wild once they are grown will cause undue suffering and death by starvation to the once pet. It is the most advantageous for all parties involved not to own a bobcat. Re-homing a bobcat may not be possible. Bobcats are quite destructive inside a house, and if captive require specialized veterinarians for pet/veterinary care who are comfortable with working with the species. Foter /...
Travel Animal Doctor: An Environmental Crisis

Travel Animal Doctor: An Environmental Crisis

 As the sun rises in the Galapagos it is hard to imagine we are in an environmental crisis. – Travel Animal Doctor Yet our world is telling us to wake up. The decreasing numbers of the Galapagos penguins and marine animals are insane, and the drought in California has everyone on edge. While sitting aboard the cruise ship, it is hard to think of anything other than the spectacular beauty that surrounds that moment. The cruel reality is that animals in this pristine-appearing “heavenly” waterway are in deep, deep trouble. The Galapagos penguins and marine animals are starving to death at an alarming rate, and Californians are thirsty. There is indeed, an environmental crisis. A Penguin Intervention: When I was snorkeling in the Galápagos, two Galapagos penguins swam by and one attacked my flipper. I could see deeper down that there were fish. Frozen for a moment in disbelief, I decided that I just got in the way of a meal. I felt increasingly guilty that I was in the way of a meal after seeing an article online about how penguins are starving and becoming endangered due to climate change. The sad realization set in that the once in a lifetime interaction I had with a wild Galapagos penguin could have been part of a much greater, more depressing issue. It has been four years since the Galapagos penguin attacked my flipper. If climate change caused these problems in the Galapagos four years ago, imagine how climate change may be impacting penguins now. Penguin Death Toll: The death count of penguins would definitely be on the rise today, as more...
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