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Tucson zoo starting construction of new animal health center

Posted at 12:16 PM, Jan 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-23 00:18:04-05
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Tucson's Reid Park Zoo is getting a new animal health center.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new 9,000-square-foot facility is scheduled Sunday at the midtown zoo.
"It's absolutely state of the art with the latest in technology," Nancy Kluge said. She's the president of the Reid Park Zoological Society. "It's going to bring new equipment for our animals."
Treatment facilities will include a surgical suite and intensive care units for all sizes of animals, and the facility will have holding areas with controlled air circulation so contagious animals can be quarantined.
"It has a pharmacy, it has a lab, it has surgery, treatment, holding, ICU, all the same things that people need, animals need for their health care," Kluge said.
Equipment will include diagnostic devices to provide immediate results of blood work and ultrasound testing.
Zoo officials say the center will not only provide care but be used for training students from the University of Arizona veterinarian program and include an on-site classroom for younger students from area schools.
"So that they can see what's involved in the care of animals," Kluge said. "And hopefully be inspired for a career in science themselves."
The facility is expected to open in late 2017. It'll replace one with less than half the space.