When you’re a red panda living at the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo in Canada, you have to get a veterinary checkup. Staff from the zoo took the male red panda, named Phoenix, to Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada for his exam.
His eyes were checked, as were his teeth (there was a small fracture) and bones. X-rays, ultrasounds and blood tests were conducted, as well as a small art project of sorts at the end (Phoenix’s paws were painted and placed on canvas for study and fundraising purposes). Phoenix was not awake during the visit to reduce the risk to the veterinarians conducting the exam.
Luckily, Phoenix’s trip to the vet was filmed:
According to the YouTube description, the exam was filmed for educational purposes and provides benefits “from teaching skills to veterinary students for their future careers to showing school students how in-depth an annual physical examination for a wild animal is.”
As Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo manager John Moran says in the video, the visit was also a learning experience for the veterinarians. “It contributes to the overall knowledge on the physiology of the red panda. It'll really give us some baseline information on the overall health status of this animal.”
Phoenix is living in Phase II of the PotashCorp Ark exhibit at the zoo. He’s been there since 2014.