The Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth, MN prides itself on its rich history of providing “up close animal experiences” that inspire connections to wildlife and actions toward conservation around the world. Some area business leaders got a particularly inspiring up-close look at wildlife, thanks to a creative collaboration that repurposed an area hospital’s imaging equipment to the zoo’s use. Video
On May 8, 2017, St. Luke’s Hospital donated X-ray equipment to the zoo in conjunction with equipment upgrades at the hospital.
Kraus-Anderson and Gardner Builders donated construction time and materials for the radiology lab.
The donated equipment and services have created a new full-scale radiology lab at the zoo, allowing for provide better on-site care for their animals. Previously, the zoo needed to transport their animals to local veterinary clinics for X-rays, resulting in increased stress for the animal and more expense.
As active members of the community, KA was pleased to pitch in. KA coordinated and managed the project and the subcontractors. The construction of the room included a full lab remodel with all new electrical, flooring, walls and paint.
Greg Wegler, KA’s Director of Business Development in Duluth said: “We have long supported the mission of the zoo by undertaking construction projects on the grounds. We’re pleased to help ensure that the staff and the animals can maximize the benefits of this generous equipment donation.”
During Wegler’s time serving as a board member for the zoo, he was aware that the first X-ray machine, from the 1970’s, was no longer useable. Knowing that St. Luke’s was constructing a new building, he reached out to see if they might have a machine available to donate. Luckily, they did.
The veterinarians are particularly pleased about the size of the room and the examination table. The table was built large enough to fit the zoo’s male lions. Now the animal will fit comfortably while being examined.
“These generous donations will enhance care for our animals at a time when we are creating a new, exciting zoo for the citizens of our region,” said Lake Superior Zoo CEO Corey Leet. “Our first responsibility is always the health of our animals. These donations represent a significant milestone in veterinary care in our zoo’s 94-year history.”
Taking a Closer Look
The zoo was ready and excited to start using their new machine and facility. Bayea and Amy Gallagher, the zoo’s certified vet techs, demonstrated the equipment by taking X-rays of Monty, a Burmese python. Monty needs to be checked periodically for arthritis in his spine.
The X-ray images shown will serve as baseline images to check against future development of arthritis or occurrence of other illness.