Camelids and Communities
Endangered across it’s natural range, the vicuña (Vicugña vicugña) is rebounding in some protected areas due to international protection efforts. Rural indigenous communities corral wild vicuña to shear and sell their fiber, providing income complementary to their traditional way of life, but vicuña are severely affected by mange that causes great discomfort from itching and skin lesions, damages the valuable fiber and can even lead to death. WCS health teams are training communities to reduce stress and risk of mange and other disease transfer for vicuña at shearing; and in preventive veterinary practices for domestic camelids, to avoid livestock disease spillover to wild vicuñas.
Ebola Early-Warning
Multiple human Ebola epidemics started from a contact with wildlife infected with the virus. In response, WCS and public health scientists developed a low-cost educational outreach program and surveillance system for wildlife mortality that has continued for over a decade. This pro-active approach engages hunting communities prior to Ebola outbreaks and builds trust and awareness that could give future responders an upper hand.
E-DNA on Everest
WCS Health Programs' Molecular Biologist Dr Tracie Seimon recently joined the most comprehensive single scientific expedition ever conducted on Mount Everest. The team installed the highest weather stations in the world and Dr Seimon collected samples for environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis, including water from high alpine lakes and streams and scat samples, to expand our knowledge of species diversity at these high altitudes.
Snapping Turtle Health Sentinels
The waters of the Bronx River were once pristine, but by the mid-19th century were full of garbage, sewage, PCBs, and heavy metals from factory discharge such as lead and mercury. Veterinarians from the Bronx Zoo are studying these toxins in turtles that call the river home. As turtles live a long time and don’t tend to migrate, toxins in the water can build up in their bodies: testing the health of the turtles helps determine the health of the river, too. 
CT Scans For
Penguin Patients
The Bronx Zoo's Wildlife Health Center has a close partnership with Manhattan’s Animal Medical Center (AMC), enabling us to utilize their extensive medical expertise and resources. A significant contribution to our animals' health care are CT scans, such as those recently received by three little penguins (Eudyptula minor) with previously identified lung disease . The scans were able to confirm that the penguins were completely recovered!
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The Wildlife Conservation Society was among the first zoos in the world to have full time veterinary care for their animals, with a clinician and pathologist hired in 1903 and a zoo animal hospital opening at the Bronx Zoo in 1916. We were also one of the first conservation organizations with a dedicated team of wildlife veterinarians deployed around the world to address the health of free ranging wildlife and problem-solve at the wildlife / domestic animal / human health and livelihoods interface, all underpinned by a foundation of environmental stewardship.

To learn how to support the  One World - One Health  portfolio at WCS, please contact Dr. Chris Walzer at or Dr. Paul Calle at .

Photo Credits - WCS