On the move
Moving animals around is an essential part of breeding programmes.
However, there is always a risk that we will move diseases as well as the animals themselves. Before an animal is transported health checks have to be completed.
For example, lions need a blood test and vaccinations may need to be given too.
When an animal first arrives at the zoo it is quarantined. This is a period of time when it is isolated from animals already in the collection, during which it is checked for any signs of disease and given time to settle in.
We have special facilities here at the zoo so we can follow the quarantine protocols.
Animals of all shapes and sizes are moved between zoos, including rhinos, as seen above!
Hornbill health check
When our Tarictic Hornbills arrived from the Philippines they had to go into quarantine.
This was to make sure that they were healthy and would not bring diseases into the collection.
The vets had to complete a full health check:
• Full body exam, including radiographs and weighing
• Behavioural observations
• Parasite screening
• Blood samples
• Avian flu test
• Heart and breathing rate checks
The birds had to stay in quarantine until all of the results came back and the vets were satisfied they were healthy.
The hornbill health check included an oral examination.
We have our own quarantine area here at Chester Zoo.