In April 2006, the Guadalajara zoo opened the ultimate teaching tool, an interactive veterinary clinic which includes the same equipment the Zoo’s veterinarians utilize in their daily procedures. This allows local children to become Vet for a Day.’ With the aid of veterinary training animals’ (which are actually plush toys,) the children are immersed in a wildly different learning experience that they will never forget.
The children perform several different procedures on their patients’ from hearing the heartbeat of a rabbit to reviewing skin abnormalities caused by fleas. The children also use advanced diagnostic tools such as cardiac monitors to explore the differences in animal hearts. To end their experience in the veterinary clinic, the children observe a bone fracture in a dog. This leads to a discussion of the differences in care and veterinarian procedures of domestic and wild animals.
The inside look at a veterinary clinic is available for children pre-school age through university level and their families in Guadalajara and the surrounding area. This clinic is just one example of the essential day-to-day educational support that the Guadalajara Zoo provides to teachers. Programs are constantly evaluated and updated to best complement and promote the area’s environmental education curriculum and to reflect the Zoo’s current collection.