Rose’s House Call

Rose the Virginia Zoo’s 12-year-old Hartmann mountain zebra was greeted by several specialists this week and received preventive care, physical exam and hoof trim.

Kim Burnop, the Virginia Zoo’s farrier got to work on Rose’s hooves, providing the routine maintenance and care. Hartmann mountain zebra’s hooves are especially unique because they have evolved to live in rocky, mountainous areas. Kim’s expertise in this field ensures a quick and painless process of cleaning, trimming and filing the hooves.

Meanwhile, Rose received a reproductive assessment in order to gather information about her fertility and to help plan the next steps of producing offspring. Usually these assessments are given to both the male and female, but since Zack has produced two offspring, the focus was on Rose.

Dr. Buddha Pukazhenthi from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal and Dr. Aime Johnson DVM, DACT, a theriogenologist from Auburn University visited the Virginia Zoo on Wednesday to complete the exam. An ultrasound was performed on Rose to examine her reproductive organs and to look for any structural problems or obvious pathology. The exam also included manual palpation to feel everything, scoping to visually assess her cervix and a uterine biopsy, cytology and a bacterial culture.

A general physical was also completed by the Virginia Zoo veterinary staff, which included routine vaccines, blood work and a dental checkup. The blood work will help evaluate hormone levels, genetics and any signs of disease.

The final reports from the productive specialists are being evaluated, but Rose shows signs of ovulation and a healthy reproductive system. Stay tuned for the next steps, coming soon!