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Welcome Global Wildlife’s New On-staff Vet Dr. Kanyon McLean!

– how capybaras and a conference brought Global an amazing new vet –

Welcome to the team, Dr. Kanyon!

Global Wildlife Center is thrilled to welcome the charismatic and talented Dr. Kanyon McLean to our staff! A graduate of Ohio State University in veterinary medicine, Dr. Kanyon (as she prefers to be called) moved to Global Wildlife Center this February after a 5-year career at the Montgomery Zoo. She maintained the health and welfare of a diverse collection of animals at the Montgomery Zoo, first as an intern and then as the staff veterinarian for four years.  In her first two weeks at Global Wildlife Center, she has blown everyone away with her extensive knowledge, infectious laugh, ever-present smile, and can-do team-player attitude.

Dr. Kanyon comes with a wealth of zoo/wildlife animal experience and a demonstrated devotion to conservation initiatives.  We believe she is the perfect person to elevate Global Wildlife Center in her new position as Director of Animal Programs.  Highly regarded in the field of zoo medicine, Dr. Kanyon McLean has published six scientific papers and has also contributed to the writing of Fowler’s Medicine and Surgery of Camelids, Fourth Edition.  The Zoological Association of America (ZAA) and the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) have invited her to speak at their Annual Conferences, as has the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Tuskegee University College of Veterinary Medicine. During her tenure as a veterinarian for Loop Abroad, she served as an instructor for the South Africa Veterinary Service summer program and educated veterinary students on zoo/wildlife medicine through didactic and hands-on instruction.

Dr. Kanyon’s first weeks at the Center have been very busy ones; she has really hit the ground running!  Ever approachable, Dr. Kanyon has already created a stir of excitement amongst the Global Wildlife team by entertaining suggestions for a proposed lecture series designed to provide a platform to further the team’s education while, at the same time, getting to know one another.  Dr. Kanyon has been working with and actively treating her furry and feathered patients (“kids” she calls them), collaborating with the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, reaching out to some of Global Wildlife’s local veterinary teams, and working with our Animal Care team on action plans for the future.

The Conference and Capybara Connection

“Attending the ZAA Conference in 2023 was one of the best things that we did all year, because it connected us personally with Dr. Kanyon McLean,” observes Christina Cooper, Executive Director of Global Wildlife Center.  Tour Operations Manager, Casey Cousins, and Ms. Cooper attended the Zoological Association of America’s annual conference in Rhode Island in October of 2023.  There, the two met Dr. Kanyon in person as she delivered a dynamic presentation:  Basic triage for injured or ill animals:  Info for non-medical care personnel.

It was a great coincidence that one of the Montgomery Zoo’s capybaras, Bruno, had recently become the star new species addition to the Global Wildlife Center herd.  Global Wildlife Center’s attending veterinarian and consultant, Dr. Jonathan Bergmann, DVM, had connected Global Wildlife Center with the Montgomery Zoo earlier in the year to fulfill Cooper’s decades-old dream of bringing capybaras to Global.  “After Dr. Kanyon spoke, I introduced myself and gave a little update on Bruno, since he had come from her facility. I just threw it out there; I offered that we were actively seeking an on-staff veterinarian and for her to let me know if she knew anyone who was interested. Of course, what I was really saying was that we were interested in hiring her!” laughs Cooper.

Dr. Bergmann’s expertise as a zoo veterinarian has been invaluable since he began serving as the attending veterinarian and consulting with Global Wildlife Center in 2021.  His Program of Veterinary Care and experience, along with its execution by the dedicated Animal Care team at Global Wildlife Center led by Animal Care Manager, Erika Ferraris, has been so important to the advancement of Global Wildlife Center’s program.  After Dr. Bergmann moved to Pittsburgh to accept a new position, Global Wildlife Center began considering the process of recruiting an on-staff veterinarian.  Regarding Dr. Kanyon’s addition to the Global Wildlife Center team, Dr. Bergmann enthused, “You couldn’t have gotten anyone better.”

We agree!  Please join us in welcoming Director of Animal Programs, Dr. Kanyon McLean, DVM to our new era at Global Wildlife Center.

“I am incredibly humbled to join the Global Team. I am uplifted by the unwavering positive energy, the constant smiles from staff and guests alike, and the variety of magnificent species that greet me the moment I turn in the drive each morning. We have an immense capacity to grow; the desire to learn is tangible. I am a part of a team with a vision, and the sky is the limit! Thank you Global! I cannot wait to see what we accomplish together! “~Dr. Kanyon

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