MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The first koala born at Zoo Miami and an Aadwark received their CT scans as part of a wellness program, zoo officials announced Friday.
Here is what zoo communications director Ron Magill had to say about the procedure and why it was necessary:
“An 11-year-old male Aardvark named, “Erdferkel” and a 1-year-old male koala named “Hope,” received comprehensive CT scans that were performed by Dr. Xavier Meaux of Mobile Pet Imaging. The CT scans provide enhanced 3D images that reveal details not as easily seen on normal X-Rays.
Hope, the first koala born at Zoo Miami in over 20 years, received his CT scan as part of a recommendation from the Koala Species Survival Plan (SSP). Koalas sometimes develop nasal and lung issues that when detected early are easily treatable. CT scans provide the best way to determine if any of those issues are developing at a very early stage. Fortunately, Hope’s scans indicate that he is in excellent health with no signs of any problems at this time.
Erdferkel has a history of dental issues and because an Aardvark’s mouth cannot open very widely (only wide enough for their thin and sticky tongue to come out and grab the ants and termites that they feed on!), there is no way to do a normal dental exam through an open mouth. The CT scan provides the best images to indicate if and where any dental problems may exist. Erdferkel’s scans did confirm that he does indeed have some issues that will need to be addressed in the near future and he will most likely undergo a dental procedure sometime in the fall.
Overall, the results of the exams indicate that both animals are in good general health and they have since been successfully returned to their habitats where they have fully recovered.”