PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – There are nearly 4,000 animals at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium.
The collection has grown so much that the zoo needed a new hospital to care for all the different species.
On Tuesday, zoo leaders held a grand opening for a brand new facility.
It is a two-story, 22,000 square foot building, which is filled with state-of-the-art equipment.
It’s a high-tech animal hospital, which took years of planning.
“I’m extremely excited. It’s pretty much every vet’s dream I think to be able to design and construct their own hospital,” Director of Animal Health Dr. Ginger Takle said.
The zoo’s previous facility was just 1,400 square feet, which was an area simply too small to handle the thousands of animals.
“We had fabulous vets, we had fabulous vet technicians, and a great team working in our Animal Health Center and we just needed to give them the home they deserve to help take care of our wonderful collection of animals,” CEO Dr. Barbara Baker said.
The new center has a lot to offer, including an intensive care suite with 24-hour monitoring.
“The treatment room we are standing currently is the main hub and then everything else kind of comes off like spokes on a wheel from there. So, we have pharmacy, we have radiology, clin path, surgery,” Dr. Takle said.
Something else really great about this center is the holding area. There are individual rooms for the animals. In the old facility, there was just one space for all of the animals.
“We’ve had designs, we’ve kind of then torn them apart, we’ve done them again. We wanted to make sure we were using our money effectively and efficiently,” Dr. Takle said.
Animals will be moved into the center in the coming weeks. For now, the area will be off limits to the public, but next year, that will change.
Visitors will be able to explore an interactive, educational exhibit in the building.