The Sarah Allison Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine provides world-class care for the Zoo's 3,000 animals. Since its opening on September 30, 2004, the Center supports groundbreaking research and engages Zoo visitors in veterinary care issues.
The Zoo's previous veterinary hospital was well equipped to serve the needs of 1000 resident animals when it opened in 1972. Since then, much has changed at the Zoo, providing clear directives for the Center for Zoological Medicine:
- Address increased demands for veterinary care and quarantine areas for a much larger Zoo animal collection (3000+ specimens)
- Support technological advances in veterinary care with state-of-the-art equipment
- Acknowledge the growing role of scientific animal management and promoteresearch and collaboration among zoo professionals
- Engage Zoo visitors in animal life cycles and care with memorable exhibitry supported by on-site educators - Reinberger Learning Lab
The design objectives are diverse, but the Center for Zoological Medicine delivers. The 24,000 square foot structure solves one of the biggest challenges – adequate space. The building is divided into four areas: hospital, quarantine, conservation and science, and an education pavilion.
The hospital wing, dedicated to diagnosis, treatment and surgical procedures has separate treatment areas for small and large animals, a radiology lab, clinical labs, and a pharmacy. New technological infrastructure enables the veterinary care staff to use the latest diagnostic tools, including the first CT Scanner in any zoo.
A substantial portion of the center is devoted to quarantine areas. All new animals that enter the Zoo must be quarantined for a minimum of 30 days and undergo medical evaluations to insure that they are healthy and won't introduce disease to the animals already in residence at the Zoo. Isolation stalls specifically designed for hoofed animals, large animals, small animals, and primates help Zoo curators efficiently and safely facilitate animal transfers.
The conservation and science wing of the building houses offices and shared facilities for close collaboration between veterinary and research staff. Behavioral, reproductive, and endocrinology research takes place in a new endocrinology laboratory. Conservation and Science staff is now able to accept graduate students interested in on-site research, or in becoming involved with local and international field programs. Support facilities include a computer lab, clinical laboratories, and a library.
The Center for Zoological Medicine offers unprecedented public access in an adjoining education pavilion - the Reinberger Learning Lab
. Here, Zoo visitors can learn about veterinary care at all stages of an animal's life, from delivery to departure. The displays feature hands-on interactives, tools-of-the-trade, and views to surgical suites where visitors might sneak a peak at a treatment procedure in progress.
The Center for Zoological Medicine sustains Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's commitment to conservation and reinforces the Zoo's role as a leading institution in scientific animal management.