041: The Exotic Life Of A Zoo Veterinary Technician w/ DeeAnn Wilfong

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Imagine living perched above an alligator swamp, with a flock of peacocks as your guard animals and a snow leopard as your neighbor. This is reality for today's guest DeeAnn Wilfong, certified veterinary technician and part of the veterinary team at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Today we are recording from inside the zoo as DeeAnn takes us through her interesting journey to zoo medicine.

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Show Notes: 

Imagine living perched above an alligator swamp, with a flock of peacocks as your guard animals and a snow leopard as your neighbor. This is reality for today's guest DeeAnn Wilfong, certified veterinary technician and part of the veterinary team at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Today we are recording from inside the zoo as DeeAnn takes us through her interesting journey to zoo medicine.

Every animal at the zoo has a unique personality and requires individualized treatment. From drawing blood from a rhino, giving pills to orangutan and giraffe x-ray’s, learn all about what it takes to treat, train and medicate a collection of zoo animals.

DeeAnn is sharing how to get into an animals circle of trust, why she finds comfort in large animals, and much more. Have you ever dreamt of living in a zoo surrounded by your favorite animals? Let us know your dream zoo animal to work with in the comments below!

 

In This Episode

  • What it is like working and living in the zoo system

  • Qualifiers for what constitutes a dangerous animal at the zoo

  • Getting to know the animals and their unique personalities

  • Finding predictability and comfort in large animals

  • Why a ‘normal’ day to day doesn’t exist in zoo medicine

 

Quotes

“I just feel like the world is such a small place, and there's just not enough time to see it all. And there are so many adventures to have in life, I definitely don't subscribe to doing the same thing for very long.” (3:19)

“It's really hard because, you want to just solve the problem, that's what we want to do. We want to take our diagnostic images, look at them and say here is the problem, and then we want to solve that problem. And it's really just not quite that easy because we have to go a little bit further down the road and go, is this normal?” (14:24)

“I have a high level of comfort around animals that are far larger than I am. I find them very predictable, I think they are easy to read, and I know how to get out of the way.” (19:38)

“There's a level of intelligence in all of our animals. We recognize that we probably don't understand the level of intelligence, especially because we can't always communicate what we are understanding with them, or what they are understanding with us. So we may find out someday that snakes are incredibly far more intelligent than we gave them credit for, they just didn't have a way of communicating that intelligence.” (25:13)

 

Links 

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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

 

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