Abstract # 63:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015 05:05 PM-05:20 PM: (Cascade F) Oral Presentation


VETERINARY CARE OF CHIMPANZEES (PAN TROGLODYTES) AT THE SAVE THE CHIMPS SANCTUARY

J. Bezner
Save The Chimps, PO Box 12220, Fort Pierce, FL 34979, USA
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     The history of chimpanzee sanctuaries in the United States is much shorter than other types of institutions such as zoos and laboratories and subsequently, much less is known about the scope of veterinary care provided to these growing populations. Here, we present a broad overview of the veterinary program at Save the Chimps (STC) sanctuary and home to 255 chimpanzees. The veterinary care at STC addresses disease control and prevention, parasite management, reproductive issues, and the diagnoses and treatment of acute and chronic conditions. Save the Chimps, Inc. began with 21 retired air force chimpanzees and the colony of 266 chimpanzees held at The Coulston Foundation in New Mexico. For the first 2 years, STC used consulting veterinarians until a permanent veterinarian was hired in 2003. The veterinary program has evolved with the growth of the sanctuary itself: beginning with addressing the chimpanzees’ medical and psychological conditions in their original housing in New Mexico, to the implementation of programs for the newly-formed groups of approximately 25 males and females of different ages at the new indoor/outdoor facility in Florida. The changes in veterinary care over the last 11 years are in response to a growing geriatric population, maturation of juvenile males and subsequent changes in social hierarchy and reflect the growth of high-quality veterinary care in accredited sanctuary settings.