MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- The Sunset Zoo in Manhattan has unveiled its newly upgraded veterinary clinic- a space that has more than quadrupled in size through the recent renovation.
Scott Shoemaker, the zoo's director, is proud to show off the enhancements to the expanded hospital. He says it’s a huge upgrade for the zoo and their ability to care for animals.
"As an accredited zoo through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, animal vet care is very critical to our accreditation. We’ve always done very well with our animal healthcare because of our partnership with Kansas State University- it’s a strength of our collection and our zoo- but we’ve always had to take our animals over to K-State for any kind of specialized care," he said. "With this renovation now and the facilities we have on site, we’re going to be able to do a lot more with our animal collection here at Sunset Zoo. They’re going to get better care. They’re going to get more intensive care."
Kansas State University is the vet care provider for the zoo and previously, teams worked out of just one examine room but now they also have access a surgery suite, a neonatal care room, a recovery room, a pharmacy, and a vet office. And they no longer have to bring materials with them for procedures at the zoo.
"They would spend several hours a day packing and unpacking all of the supplies they thought they might need. Now because of our new facility, those supplies are here. The equipment is here. We’re going to have dental machines and anesthesia machines and all kinds of things that we never had before. So that time they spent packing and unpacking, they can now spend taking care of animals," Shoemaker said.
The project was funded through a partnership between K-State and the zoo. The zoo and city of Manhattan also contributed resources to fixing up the building in general.
Sunset Zoo revealed the name of its new hospital Saturday night during its fundraising event called Wine in the Wild. It's called the James Carpenter Veterinary Clinic.
"We named it after a longtime veterinarian here, Dr. Jim Carpenter. He was very touched. We surprised him actually with the naming of it. He’s been here for 24 years leading the vet care here at Sunset Zoo. So it was a real treat to thank him for all of the service that he’s done. It’s just a small way to thank him for all that’s he done for the animals here at Sunset Zoo," said Ella Casey with the Sunset Zoo.