“Something Fishy is Going On”

By Dr. Rob Jones, “The Aquarium Vet”

The Aquarium Vet LogoSo much is happening in the world at present. We seem to have lurched from the
COVID-19 pandemic to the threat of a world war. As a consequence, it is very
easy to lose focus and get depressed about the future.

As a community (aquariums and zoos), we are very blessed to work with animals.
When we have vet students join us for externships as part of their training, one of the first questions I ask is “Why do you want to become a vet?” About 95 percent simply say “I like animals.” And that is my response, too, when asked the same question. “Animal people” share that common bond.

If ever you are having a bad day as an aquarist or wildlife care specialist (or manager), go and just mingle with the crowd in your facility, and feel the buzz and excitement as your guests enjoy the day. Be prepared for lots of questions—and know that 90 percent of the visitors would probably swap jobs with you, if they could.

The role of aquariums and zoos in society continues to change dramatically. From being simple showcases for families, friends, and children to visit for a day and see sharks or elephants, aquariums and zoos have progressed to where education, combined with breeding and conservation projects, have become driving forces. These latter roles give us credibility to the wider community, who will be there to support us when detractors surface that would close all aquariums and zoos.

By having the welfare and care of our animals paramount in our minds at all times, we will constantly make tweaks to their habitats or enrichment programs to continue to improve their lives. By referring back to the Five Domains Model regularly (see the November 2021 edition of this column), all aspects will be revised and refined as the standard of welfare progressively improves in our animal care. What was acceptable 10 years ago is, in many cases, not acceptable now. I sincerely hope that in 10 years’ time, we look back at our animal welfare standards in 2022 and think about how we have advanced substantially from there.

E-lasmo Conference 2022

The Aquarium Vet is delighted to be hosting the third E-lasmo Conference, scheduled the week of May 9, 2022. This is the only conference in the world that is solely dedicated to elasmobranchs in human care in aquariums and zoos. E-lasmo Conference 2022 will be held virtually over four days, with four hours of presentations each day.

The entire E-lasmo Conference 2022 will be recorded and available afterward to all attendees (in case you miss a session). To register for The Aquarium Vet E-lasmo Conference 2022, visit https://www.theaquariumvet.com/store/.

E-quarist™ Courses—Academy Subscriber Special!

The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Academy is excited to share an additional Academy subscriber benefit regarding our collaboration with The Aquarium Vet. As an Academy subscriber, you are entitled to a 10 percent discount on the E-quarist™ courses. We are also happy to offer one of our regular webinars for free.

For more information about the SDZWA discount or anything about E-quarist™ courses, including our next webinar series, please contact katrina@theaquariumvet.com.