Thursday, February 14, 2013

Think Pink - Flamingo Round-up 2013

On Valentine’s Day many expect chocolates, red roses and other surprises. For the flamingos, it’s another kind of special day - their annual visit with the veterinarian.  The flamingo round-up is also a big day for keepers, vets and staff.
A lot of preparation goes into making sure that each of the 40 flamingos are safely gathered together and then examined one by one.
Keepers, Zoo Veterinarians and veterinary students from UC Davis meet next to the lake early in the morning to begin the round-up.

 
 
First the flamingos are gathered together through a carefully orchestrated operation that involves corralling the flamingos into a holding pen, while putting the least amount of stress on the birds as possible.
 
Then each individual bird is identified so that they can be weighed and their personal medical records can be reviewed.

Next they are thoroughly examined, given a vaccine to protect against West Nile Virus and have blood work done.

After a receiving a clean bill of health each flamingo is carefully released back into the lake.

No chocolates for these birds, however, they do set a nice valentine-themed backdrop for couples visiting the Zoo on this special day.




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