Topeka Zoo Receives Citation But Also Applause For Improvements

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TOPEKA, KS - The USDA cited the Topeka Zoo Wednesday for one violation but took note of several of the improvements made recently at the zoo in animal care and infrastructure.

The zoo was cited for one documentation issue. The issue centers around three male fruit bats recently castrated for population management. Approximately a week following surgery, the three bats developed wing lesions. While the USDA complimented medical care and treatment surrounding the issue, the regulating agency felt that there should have been more documentation describing the recovery process during the week between surgery and development of the lesions.

Prior to this inspection, the zoo operated with a documentation philosophy to document the abnormal. During review of this situation, it was discussed how additional documentation of the normal would aid inspectors in reviewing situations as it relates to the timing of incidents.

The zoo has already begun the process of modifying procedures to include daily documentation regarding every animal in the zoo's collection. Overall, the inspection team was very pleased with the improvements it saw.

"We had a long discussion with the USDA yesterday," said Zoo Director, Brendan Wiley. "They are very pleased with what they are seeing. They complimented us on many things including improvements to our pest management program, facility improvements, and nutrition programs. The inspectors seemed especially pleased with a number of different animal training programs which are now showing the benefit of improving the quality of life of the animals in the zoo's collection.

"This inspection shows great progress from where we have been in our past. While it is not a clean report, it is a report that shows a cooperative effort to improve the vigilance of care to the animals in our charge, " said Wiley.

The above information illustrates how inspections are assisting the Topeka Zoo in improving the care of its animal residents.