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Wild at heart: How zookeepers safely administer health care to their wild clientele

Wild at heart: How zookeepers safely administer health care to their wild clientele


BALTIMORE (CIRCA) — Arctic foxes in the wild can be found right alongside polar bears in the arctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

"They are actually scavengers, so they will follow the polar bears around and eat whatever the polar bears leave behind," said Becky Lynagh, a zookeeper at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, where arctic foxes Timber and Luna live.

Zookeepers use medical behavior training to make sure they are getting the best medical care and attention.

"Medical behavior training is where we focus on behaviors that will allow us to give vaccinations, collect blood pressure, trim toenails," said Devon Youngclaus, veterinarian technician at the Maryland Zoo.

Training can take several weeks before they gain the animals' trust and be successful.

"I feel very special anytime there is the slightest little improvement or next step that we take with any animal training," said Youngclaus. "I just, it kind of warms my heart a little."

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