February 8, 2017 4:17 pm
Updated: June 23, 2017 9:16 am

Calgary Zoo partnership with Strathmore clinic to protect endangered animals

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A partnership between the Calgary Zoo and a Strathmore animal clinic is expected to create new jobs while protecting endangered species.

The Animal Care Centre in Strathmore (ACCS) said Wednesday they will hire five new positions as a result of the deal with the zoo.

The Calgary Zoo told News Talk 770 the partnership will allow the facility to expand important conservation programs.

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“We do expect that we’re going to need more and more jobs as we continue to expand the programs we have now and as we do more with conservation,” said Jamie Dorgan, director of animal care with the zoo.

READ MORE: Calgary Zoo launches partnership to save lemurs

“Working with endangered animals here at the zoo, it is quite time-consuming and it does suck up a lot of resources … For us, those are really important resources, that’s why we’re here,” he added.

“We want to do more conservation; that’s why we exist and it’s the most important part of what we do.”

Dorgan said over time, the zoo expects this partnership will allow it to invest more resources in conservation and gain more flexibility.

For its part, the Strathmore clinic said it is eager to get involved in conservation.

READ MORE: Calgary Zoo opens greater sage-grouse breeding facility

“It has opened up a whole new door for us, so we’re very excited about that,” said Dr. Jodi Viste, owner of the Strathmore veterinary clinic.

“We’re going to take great pride in knowing that we’re contributing to wildlife conservation in Canada.”

The ACCS was recognized by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association as the top practice in Canada in 2016.

“These are animal care professionals that have a lot of experience as veterinarians,” Dorgan said.

READ MORE: Calgary Zoo gets award for protecting whooping crane

The clinic said it will hire another veterinarian to support the current veterinary team at the zoo, as well as two registered veterinary technicians and two registered care assistants.

Dorgan told News Talk 770 that clinic staff will mainly help with breed-and-release programs, including those for the sage-grouse and whooping crane. It also plans to start a breed-and-release program for the northern leopard frog later this year.

He said all of the zoo’s animal health programs will still be overseen by the zoo’s experienced veterinarians.

“A lot of these species were either very close to extinction, or still battling that right now and they do require a lot of resources for us and we do expect that to grow,” he said.

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