Milwaukee County Zoo Animal Health Center

Milwaukee, WI
New Construction
A Healing Environment For Animals In Need

At A Glance

  • SUMMARY: New high-tech animal treatment and surgery facility
  • SIZE: 17,000 sf
  • COMPLETION: 2003
  • CONSTRUCTION COST: $4.3 million
  • OWNER: Milwaukee County
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Project Overview

A new 17,000-square-foot Animal Health Center was designed to accommodate the medical needs of the animals at the Milwaukee County Zoo.  The one-story building houses treatment and surgical facilities, recovery holding pens, and administrative offices.  Like any modern medical facility, the treatment and surgery ward consists of radiology, intensive care, and a fully-equipped operating room.  It also includes specialized holding areas to accommodate a variety of species as well as a section that can be used as a Center for Disease Control (CDC) ward to temporarily house imported animals.

Animal hospitals have a few challenges above human hospitals. Not only do the animals need a safe environment for recovery, the zoo staff need to be safe from dangerous animals.  They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes—snakes can escape through drains, large apes have dexterous fingers, and wildcats can overpower their zookeepers.  Specially armored doors and extra gates provide containment areas and three levels of protection in case an animal gets loose.  The $4.3 million project also provides a visitors’ center to educate people on animal health, showcasing a window for observing some medical procedures.

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