Thursday, November 19, 2009

Duke Lemur Center & Malagasy Vets Collaborate

After the usual months of preparation, 2 veterinarians have arrived from Madagascar and started training here at the Duke Lemur Center. Dr. Haja Rakotondrainibe and Dr. Hery Rakotoarivelo arrived in Durham on Oct. 3 and will be in the US, mostly with us here at DLC, for 2 months. The young veterinarians have a particular interest in wildlife medicine, which is why we have brought them here to learn more about taking care of lemurs. They have been observing and working with DLC veterinarians Dr. Cathy Williams and Dr. Bobby Schopler. In addition to working with Cathy and Bobby, Haja and Hery participated in a 2 week training program for international vets at NC State Veterinary School in Raleigh. There they gained experience with a wider array of animals, including tortoises, which will be useful for their work in Madagascar. At present Haja and Hery are in St. Louis where they are working at the zoo with Dr. Randy Junge and his team. After 10 days they will return to DLC for a final week and a half of intensive work before heading back to Madagascar.
Of course we don’t want Haja and Hery’s visit to the US to be all about work. In their off time they are getting to experience a few of our special offerings and pass-times such as NC Bar-B-Que, and American football. And of course Halloween! After one Halloween costume party, and helping answer the door on Halloween night, they have learned more than a bit about the less serious side of American life!

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