People took advantage of this week’s warmer weather by spending time at Great Bend’s Brit Spaugh Zoo.
Phoenix, a panther here on loan for the next year, has been moved from quarantine to a public exhibit area. All new animals are given some time to adjust and undergo physical exams before going in front of the public at large, Zoo Director Scott Gregory said. However, members of the Zoological Society often get an early viewing.
It didn’t take a membership to the Zoo Society to see the two newest additions on Wednesday. Two Eclectus parrots that arrived the day before got their physical exams by Dr. Jackie Corbett, DVM (see related story), and the exam room is located in the zoo’s Raptor Center so that visitors can watch through a window. Zookeeper Stacie Hayes wrapped the birds in towels and helped hold them as Corbett checked their wings, gave each parrot an injection of dewormer and dusted them with Sevin — the same powder used by gardeners — to make sure there were no lice or other tiny bugs on them.
Wednesday afternoons are often a good time to visit the Raptor Center, the main building and entrance to the zoo, because that’s often when Great Bend veterinarians Corbett and Dr. Mike Malone are scheduled to visit. This week, Dr. Corbett also took a look at an opossum and at Luna, a kinkajou.
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Gregory said the Great Bend Raptor Center, which has a flight cage at Larned for injured birds of prey that are recuperating, has been working with an eagle — probably a female — that lost its flight feathers on one wing. "We don’t know if they fell out; they weren’t cut," Gregory said. The feathers are growing back, and once the bird is ready it will be released back into the wild.
Gregory said volunteers are always welcome at the zoo. "We would love to have some help getting some projects done." For more information send him an e-mail (Scott@GreatBendZoo.com) or stop by the zoo, which is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Donations to the zoo are tax deductible, if made to the Zoo Society, and the zoo also accepts donations of towels and all types of cleaning products, including bleach, dish soap and toilet cleansers.