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About ZEW

Zoo, Exotic, Wildlife Medicine Group was established at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in the Spring of 1996. The goal was to accommodate the rising interest in non-traditional medicine within the student body.

We set the goal to cover six different aspects of the exotic animal medicine in aquatic, avian, reptiles, small mammals, wildlife, and zoo medicine. To achieve this goal, we have consolidated the individual student chapters of:

  • AAZV (American Association of Zoo Veterinarians)
  • AAWV (American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians)
  • ARAV (Association of Reptile Amphibian Veterinarians)
  • AAV (Association of Avian Veterinarians)
  • IAAAM (International Association of Aquatic Animal Medicine)
  • created a division covering small exotic mammals

We have meetings each month, covering topics related to all aspects of non-traditional animal medicine. We try to bring in diverse speakers, ranging from zoo veterinarians to private exotics practitioners.

We host wetlabs to provide an opportunity for students to get hands-on experience. Under faculty and practitioner supervision, students were able to learn and practice physical exam techniques, proper techniques in restraining animals and other procedures such as drawing blood, placing catheters, crop needle placement in birds and sexing technique in reptiles. Currently, we have the following wetlabs:

  • Avian Wetlab
  • Darting Wetlab
  • Dolphin Necropsy Wetlab
  • Fish Anesthesia Wetlab
  • Reptile Wetlab
  • Small Mammals Wetlab

Field trips give us a chance to get away from school and experience exotic animal medicine first-hand. We have at least one field trip per semester. Some examples from previous years include behind-the-scene tours to the Audubon Zoo and Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans, San Antonio Zoo, Sea World San Antonio, Dallas World Aquarium, Dallas Zoo, Fort Worth Zoo, and the Moody Garden in Galveston.

In order to learn as much as we can, we try to attend as many exotics conferences as possible. Students have gone to the national conferences of AAZV, ARAV, and AAV, as well as the annual Kansas State Exotics conference. We also host an exotics continuing education conference here at Texas A&M each December.

We are a fun group of people from many different backgrounds. We are anxious to learn while having fun and we are looking forward to getting you involved!