Globe University-Madison East’s Veterinary Technician Student Club received a very special treat earlier this month! The club, made up of students in the vet tech degree program, was granted a “behind the scenes tour” of the Henry Vilas Zoo. With the club’s fundraising efforts for the new Animal Health Center, the zoo was happy to give the students an amazing tour of their facilities and animals.
First stop was to see George, the zoo’s white rhinoceros. Did you know that George has been a resident of the Henry Vilas Zoo since 1974? The students were able to become buddies with George by petting him and learned his favorite spot is behind his ears. I’m not sure who enjoyed it more, the students or George!
Onward to the giraffes, where students were able to feed them crackers. Although the giraffes were very curious about the students, they truly just wanted their crackers! Did you know giraffes are ruminants like cattle are? This means they have four compartments to their stomach. They also have seven cervical vertebrae in their necks. That’s the same as a dog or a cat; they are just much larger.
The students went on to the penguin house, where they were able to closely view the penguins. Did you know that penguins have feathers? They are closely packed together, making it appear as though they don’t.
Lastly, students got a tour of the Animal Health Center. It was amazing to see the progress that has been made up to this point. The students were shown every room and described what the use will be. It is a great feeling knowing that the students are helping raise money for such a great cause that will make a huge impact on animal care at the Henry Vilas Zoo.
Veterinary technician student Kaley Vial reflected on the experience saying, “It was awesome seeing the animals behind the scenes because you actually got to see them up close and personal. Since I have an interest in the zoo field, it was helpful being able to ask questions related to this career.”
Written By Heather Wipijewski, Veterinary Technology Program Chair, Globe University – Madison East