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New Animal Medical and Quarantine Facility Unveiled at the Hattiesburg Zoo
HATTIESBURG — The Hattiesburg Zoo will cut the ribbon on the highly anticipated Forrest General Animal Hospital on Tuesday, June 18 at 11am. A $160,000 project, this new healthcare facility adds great value to the Hattiesburg Zoo’s animal care services, while also expanding the potential for the Zoo to grow its existing animal collection.
“While behind the scenes from the many exhibits and attractions daily enjoyed by the public, quarantine facilities are a very important part of a growing Zoo,” said Janice Vannatta, Zoo General Manager. “When new animals are acquired, they are isolated in quarantine from the existing zoo population for a minimum of 30 days to promote the highest standard of health and safety for all animals. The opening of this new state-of-the-art facility has been a long-awaited goal for us, and we could not be more pleased to partner with Forrest General Hospital in making it a reality.”
Sponsored by Forrest General Hospital under the management of Forrest Health, the facility provides Zoo personnel with approximately 4,000 square feet of usable space featuring five separate quarantine areas and a medical emergency treatment room, all of which grant the capacity for a variety of species to be accommodated simultaneously. Among the first occupants of the facility was a family of baby goats recently born at the Zoo. The new goats were held in the Animal Hospital until cleared for release into their permanent home at the Touch Africa Petting Zoo for the public to enjoy.
“With our ongoing efforts to educate visitors about interesting animals from all over the world, new additions to our animal collection keep our guests engaged and coming back again and again,” said Rick Taylor, Executive Director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission. “This medical and quarantine facility will allow us to grow and care for even more exotic species to share with our visitors. We are especially pleased to enjoy a partnership with a community leader such as Forrest General Hospital. Because of their support, the Zoo’s growth has been accelerated.”
The Animal Hospital is the second community partnership project of the Zoo and Forrest Health (Forrest General Hospital). Sponsored by Forrest General’s Cancer Center, the Zoo unveiled a new exhibit featuring more than 20 Chilean flamingos earlier this year. Following the ribbon cutting on the new Animal Hospital, all in attendance are invited to tour the new facility and learn more about its use and animal care from Zookeeper staff.
The Hattiesburg Zoo is a Hattiesburg Convention Commission Facility, in partnership with the City of Hattiesburg and the Hattiesburg Tourism Commission. Since 1991, the Hattiesburg Convention Commission has been developing and operating tourism-related facilities for the Hattiesburg area. For more information, visit www.HattiesburgZoo.com.