• The Wildlife Conservation Society’s state-of-the-art hospital includes medical, surgical, and pathology facilities for WCS’s Living Institution collections
  • Serves as headquarters for WCS’s field veterinary program that monitors wildlife health and potential pandemics around the world

NEW YORK (December 9, 2010)— The Wildlife Conservation Society celebrates today the 25th Anniversary of the Wildlife Health Center, a state-of-the-art hospital and applied research facility.

Opened in 1985, the 26,000-square-foot facility houses laboratories, conference rooms, a library, and specialized areas for surgery, pathology, and medical imaging that ensure the health of the WCS collections. The center is also the headquarters of WCS’s Global Health Program, which monitors the health of wildlife populations worldwide and tracks the movements of potential pandemics that could impact both wildlife and people.

“The Wildlife Health Center is a key component of the WCS’s Bronx Zoo and our other Living Institution facilities,” said Dr. Robert Cook, Executive Vice President, WCS Living Institutions. “The facility and the exemplary staff that work here provide great care for animals in our collections.”

The center’s veterinarians, pathologists, technicians and other staff work closely with keepers and curatorial staff to maintain the health of more than 1,700 species in WCS’s Living Institutions, which include the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and Prospect Park Zoo.

The center also boasts the latest medical technology for the care of WCS’s animal collections, from x-rays on tiny toads to dentistry on snow leopards. The facility contains surgical rooms and equipment for endoscopy, arthroscopy, laparoscopy, and ultrasound.

In addition to providing care for Living Institution collections, the Wildlife Health Center serves as the headquarters for the Global Health Program, which coordinates the activities of more than 70 health specialists in North America, Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The program conducts wildlife health assessments on western lowland gorillas, African and Asian elephants, Mongolian gazelles, Magellanic penguins, and other populations. The program also works to broaden the public’s awareness of the linkages between people, animals, and the environment. Specifically, the Global Health Program focuses on the emergence and movement of diseases such as Ebola and SARS, and works with other organizations to track the movement of avian influenza in wild bird populations.

“The health center helps us to coordinate our care for WCS’s animals around the city and our investigations into wildlife health issues and how animal and human health are sometimes interlinked,” said Dr. Paul Calle, WCS’s Director for Zoological Health.


John Delaney – (1-718-220-3275; jdelaney@wcs.org)
Max Pulsinelli – (718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org)

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide.  We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo.  Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony.  WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Adult admission is $16, children (3-12 years old) $12, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $14. Parking is $13 for cars and $16 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit www.bronxzoo.com or call 718-367-1010.