Wellington Zoo welcomes new veterinarian
METRO AND CAPITAL DAY REPORTER
She can count lions, tigers and bears among her patients, but Wellington Zoo's new vet also knows a thing or two about birds.
Baukje Lenting joined the zoo veterinary team at the beginning of October, after completing her studies at Massey University in Palmerston North.
During her studies, Dr Lenting focused on the care of native wildlife, and she completed further training as an avian medicine expert.
She will work alongside Lisa Argilla at The Nest Te Kohanga at the zoo.
"It is something I have always wanted, to work with all sorts of animals," she said.
"As a student and during my research period, I spent some time working with the team at Wellington Zoo and got to see a lot of the animals that way."
While the 28-year-old spent some of her studies focusing on the usual cats, dogs, and rabbits, the call of the exotic was too strong for her.
"Most of the species we dealt with were domestic, but it's a whole different thing with wild animals.
"It presents very different challenges, particularly because you so often have to have them completely under anaesthetic."
As well as spending time in Wellington, Dr Lenting also trained in Auckland and spent time in the Netherlands.
None of the zoo's big cats have yet landed on the table in front of Dr Lenting, but the zoo has already treated more than 200 native and exotic animals this year.
"I'm excited. It's going to be an amazing place to be a part of."
Chief executive Karen Fifield said having Dr Lenting join the team added a lot of strength to the zoo's knowledge of native and exotic wildlife.
"Together, Lisa and Baukje can increase our veterinary science research and conservation work and contribute even more to the body of veterinary knowledge in New Zealand.
"Having a second veterinarian is a very exciting extension of Wellington Zoo's expertise and capability.'
- © Fairfax NZ News
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