The red wolves who are cared for by the Wild Carnivore Team at the NCSU CVM Wild Carnivore Facility were happy to be be done with their routine spring physical exams this past Good Friday (April 3, 2015).
DVM program students who are members of the Wild Carnivore Team manage and care for the seven red wolves who call the Wild Carnivore Facility home year round. They work together to make sure the facilities and animals are in tip top condition.
Each semester some of the wolves receive their annual physical examinations, and these too are conducted by the students under the watchful eye of Dr. Suzanne Kennedy-Stoskopf, the faculty mentor for the team. This spring Dr. Jeff Applegate, another faculty member in our EMC group, was on hand as well to aid in the capture, anesthesia and complete physical examination of four female wolves.
The Wild Carnivore Facility, part of the ZTAU or Zoological Animal Teaching Unit is unique across veterinary schools worldwide. It gives veterinary students the opportunity to work with wild carnivores in all aspects of their captive management as they develop their veterinary skills. The ZTAU is in turn is based upon and is part of the original NCSU Teaching Animal Unit. This unique program was developed by the late Dr. Ben Harrington who recognized the need for DVM students to be able to gain basic animal experience with farm animals as more and more veterinary students come from urban backgrounds. The TAU has been copied by several other schools across the USA, but none is as extensive or effective in providing hands on experience with large animals to veterinary students. The ZTAU continues in the same tradition.
Drs. Kennedy-Stoskopf and Applegate confer in the background as students examine one of the 3 female pups from last year’s litter.