Care for Animals in the Zoo

Sea Lion and Vet Photo
Paul Calle, WCS Director of Zoological Health examines a California sea lion at the New York Aquarium at Coney Island.
Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS

In New York City, more than 20,000 wild animals reside in WCS’s four zoos and aquarium. The wildlife represents 1,400 species—each with special nutritional, behavioral, and medical needs. Our veterinarians have the know-how to treat them all. Well versed in the latest veterinary medicine and skillful in the newest procedures, they are ready for almost anything. An MRI scan for a gorilla? Check. A nursery for hand-raising a rare baby fruit bat? Check. Dental work for walruses? Yes, that too. By carefully studying our zoo and aquarium animals, our scientists develop the medical techniques and programs necessary to aid the species in the field.

WCS Projects

Medicine & Surgery

At a zoo or aquarium, one procedure does not fit all. Our wildlife health specialists conduct research to improve animal care in new and innovative ways, and when necessary, perform various types of surgeries and treatments on many kinds of animals.

Pathology at the Parks

WCS pathologists are medical detectives. They identify infections from viruses, parasites, bacteria, and fungus and other disease processes that impact animal health or could cause disease outbreaks. They also track diseases, analyze biological samples, and study the relationships animals have with each other and their environment.

WCS Animal Hospitals

The Wildlife Health Center at the Bronx Zoo, the Aquatic Animal Health Center at the New York Aquarium, and clinics at the Central Park, Prospect Park, and Queens Zoos allow us to provide state-of-the-art healthcare to our diverse wildlife collection.

From the Newsroom

An Ocean of WondersDecember 14, 2010

Come 2015, Coney Island beachgoers will come ashore to connect with sharks, skates, rays and other fish. The New York Aquarium’s newest exhibit will bring people to the sea, and the sea life to the people.

Fubo Gets a Brain ScanMarch 26, 2009

The Wildlife Conservation Society thanks The Brain Tumor Foundation and its “Road To Early Detection” campaign for their assistance in scanning the brain of a gorilla at the Bronx Zoo.

Relocation of Endangered Chinese Turtle May Save SpeciesMay 21, 2008

Turtle biologists, veterinarians, and zoo staff from partner organizations convened at China’s Changsha Zoo to collect a lone, elderly female Yangtze giant softshell turtle and transport her to Suzhou Zoo, where she joined one of the few remaining males to potentially breed and save their entire species.

On the iPod of an Ibis: Mood Music

To help save a species in the wild, zookeepers make a romantic mix tape for the Bronx Zoo’s endangered Waldrapp ibises.

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