During the first three days of autumn – 1st, 2nd and 3rd of September Kyiv zoo will celebrate the Veterinarian's Day. Usually their work stays behind the scenes. And visitors who come to see their beloved animals are unlikely to think about day-to-day tense work conducted every day to ensure our animals always feel good, happy and give joy to others.

Only once a year, visitors can get acquainted with work of Kyiv Zoo veterinarians. This is especially interesting for those who can’t just pass by the abandoned kitten or chic that fell from the nest. For such people "kind doctor Aibolit" is not just a fairy tale in verse. But the first practical guide on the subject of communication "and with “the bug, and the worm, and the bear"…

This day children and parents can meet veterinarians of our zoo and see how they work. Anyone can shoot at targets with flying darts used for giving anesthesia to animals. Also with the help of phonendoscope visitors can listen to the heart beat and breath of ferret, chinchillas and guinea pigs. Our veterinarians will show how to conducts medical examination of the turtle and how bandage a foot of a small mouse...

Visitors who already have pets and those who only dream of them can get advice on animal care and feeding.

For today, five veterinarians work in the Kyiv Zoo. Their work is based on close cooperation with animal keepers. After all, no animal will show that it hurts. - This is the instinct of self-preservation, - says the chief veterinarian of Kyiv Zoo Inna Vasylkivska, - in the wild, weak and sick animals are simply eaten.

Keeper who works with an animal every day knows how this animal drink, walk and eat. Keeper can pay attention to any small change: an animal today ate carrots, but did not eat watermelons he or she always eats and likes a lot; an animal was walking in another way than usually and was laying today longer than usually. This is already a signal to veterinarian that something might be wrong.

Due to careful and hard work of Kyiv Zoo veterinarians, our Bresta the hippo and Trivoga the Rhinos acquired the status of long-livers and became the oldest among the hippo and rhinos of European zoos.

Last year a young beauty-hippo came to us from Italy. When she arrived, she was much stressed and very seditious. Therefore, from the beginning, we tried to disturb her less, and then keepers started visiting her and talking to her with a calm voice. They treated her with all kinds of delicious food, talked to her constantly, read books to her, and even sang songs for her.

After all, veterinary medicine is not just pills and procedures, it's also zoopsychology.

Our experts were talking gently with the hippo, won her confidence and she appreciated their attention and care. She became very calm, almost hand.

Another example of a complex veterinary work is transfer of our male gorilla Tony from Monkey house to the Island of animals. It is not just take by hand and transfer from one enclosure to another. This is almost a movie about King Kong. Because Tony is a very big and quite aggressive gorilla male. That is why anesthesia required. However, taking into account that Toni was already in old age and there were not enough experience of gorillas’ anesthesia in Ukraine, our specialists turned to Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research. And German colleagues agreed to come to Kyiv Zoo and help. Together, the tactics of anesthesia were developed and everything went well. Now veterinarians of Kyiv Zoo have practical experience in providing anesthesia for gorillas. And when it will be time to transfer Tony to his new apartments, third-party help is no longer needed.

Chief veterinarian of Kyiv Zoo Inna Vasylkivska, who has been working in the zoo for more than 15 years, knows a lot of such stories.

Inna’s home pets are two spitz, two pugs, a nineteen-year-old pooch, a puppy of Leonberger, two cats, two chinchillas and fish. "And yet we nurtured dormice. We were brought cubs of dormice that are listed in Red Data Book of Ukraine. Their mother died, and people were thinking that these cubs are rats and even drowned one cub. Thank God that someone has decided to show the animals to the experts. And having learned that this is a very rare animal, they were brought to the zoo. We fed them, raised them and released. So the work of zoo veterinarian is often abnormal. And yet this is a work that is constantly associated with risk.

- Sense of danger should never disappear. Fear does not disappear. If sense of danger disappears, you lose caution and it is a very big mistake. We must keep in mind the rules of working with animals. Therefore, safety rules are above all. Before entering the enclosure we always conduct a preliminary inspection of the place of work, always find out where we can get out in case of unforeseen situation, everyone knows where to go and where to hide if necessary. Only after this we start working. When we give anesthesia to an animal, the veterinarian is the first one to enter enclosure. The veterinarian checks how firmly the animal is sleeping, and only after this gives permission for others to enter.”

And, finally a couple of words from the Director of Kyiv Zoo Kirill Trantin: - The dream of any director of any zoo is that his feathers and four-legs never get sick, but, unfortunately, the reality of life is so that the animals never come and say that they are hurt. Therefore, real veterinarians are able to determine accurately the diseases of our animals on indirect features. A good veterinarian will almost immediately say that something is wrong with a beast or a bird. The team of veterinarians of the Kyiv Zoo consists of five specialists. It should be mentioned that several thousand of animals are living in our zoo. But when you walk through the zoo you will see that all our animals are well-kept, have shiny coat or feathers. And this is one of the most important indicators of animals’ health. An indicator of good work and care of our veterinarians.

Thanks to the care of veterinarians, the animals in the zoo live twice and sometimes three times more than in nature. Kyiv Zoo is a good example of such care as we have long-lived animals of the planet-scale...

Author of the text: Public Relations and Press Specialist Olena Reyman

Back to the list