OAKLAND (KCBS) – A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Thursday at the Oakland Zoo’s new 17,000-square foot veterinary medical hospital, which is now the largest wild animal veterinary facility in Northern California.

Zoo donors were given a tour of the new facility after the ceremony.

Director of Veterinary Services Dr. Karen Emanuelson showed off holding rooms specifically designed for small or large hoofed and aquatic animals.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“The hospital’s gone from being 1,000 square feet in size up to 17,000 square feet,” she said. “Now we have the ability to care for all kinds of sizes of animals.”

Oakland Zoo CEO and President Dr. Joel Parrott said as they age, some of the zoo’s 660 animals need treatment for conditions not normally seen in the wild.

“You’ll get arthritis in the otters or bumblefoot in the flamingos or foot problems in the elephants,” said Parrott. “Those are the types of things that are due to geriatric conditions just because they’re living longer.”

80 percent of the $10.5 million facility was funded and 20 percent through bond measures.

The new LEED (leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building includes solar panels, extensive day lighting, renewable materials, water conservation and an electric vehicle charging station.

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