Ever wanted to know inner workings of Auckland Zoo’s fully functioning Vet Hospital? You’re in luck! Zoo and conservation medicine often means treating an incredible variety of patients, and today you can join Dr. James Chatterton on a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of a zoo vet.

“Being a zoo vet is a really broad discipline, we have to be the anesthetist, the radiographer, we have to be sometimes the surgeon, and I think we’re close to matching the level of care you or I might get if we go to the hospital,” Dr. James said.


Come take a tour of Auckland Zoo's Vet Hospital!

We follow senior veterinary manager Dr James Chatterton on a tour of Auckland Zoo's Vet Hospital where the vet team treat patients from the zoo and the wild.

At our first stop, we meet Sharni our female serval in need of a root canal, a procedure that members of the public are usually able to get a glimpse of through our Vet Hospital Gallery. Along our journey today we also meet a VIP wild kākāpō patient from depths of the South Island who recently recovered from cloacitis in our quarantine building and was able to return home. And finally, we try our hand with some new technology, microchipping frogs at the zoo for the first time!

“Lots of people think we as vets have our own special equipment, but actually what we usually use is stuff that’s actually designed for people,” says Dr. James.

Explore our hospital, meet our patients, and witness the outside-the-box thinking it takes to work with patients, that in some instances only a handful of people may have worked with before. And remember, every time you visit Auckland Zoo you’re supporting all the really valuable work our Vet Hospital does, so thank you!