Hattiesburg Zoo Reveals New Animal Hospital - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Hattiesburg Zoo Reveals New Animal Hospital

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The new Forrest General Animal Hospital and Quarantine facility at the Hattiesburg Zoo is unveiled on Tuesday. The 160 thousand dollar project moves the zoo one step closer towards accreditation with the American Zoos and Aquariums. Forrest General Hospital along with other private sponsors donated to the Hattiesburg Zoo.

The quarantine facility is about 4 thousand square feet including holding cages and a medical emergency treatment room.

"[It] allows us no to more quickly bring new animals into the zoo and get them out on display," says Rick Taylor, executive director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission. He says that any new animals that come to the zoo must be quarantined for 30 days before being put on display. 

Because of the size of the hospital, a full-time veterinarian isn't needed.  "There are three veterinarians in the Hattiesburg area that service the zoo as part of their regular operations."
Before this, the zoo was using office space to provide medical care. "What we had to do before was someone had to say 'I'm willing to give up my office today or for the next month and allow the animals to reside in there,'" says Taylor.

Now with the quarantine and medical facilities the zoo can move forward in its accreditation process.  "This is a huge hurdle because of the physical infrastructure component," says Taylor.

The next project on the agenda is a new cage for Tigger the tiger, which will open later this summer.

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