Zoo accepts donation of X-ray equipment

Amy Gallagher, certified veterinary technicial, positions a Burmese python under the X-ray unit Monday.

New lab from St. Luke’s and Kraus-Anderson will enhance animal health

The Lake Superior Zoo announced Monday that it has received donations of X-ray equipment and construction services that have allowed it to again perform radiology exams for all its animals on zoo property.

Previously, the zoo had equipment to perform those tasks, but it became so old that it couldn’t be serviced. The zoo stopped using its old machine in 2014 and began transporting animals to local veterinary clinics when they needed X-rays. That process, however, increased stress for animals while in transit.

“We now have a full-scale radiology lab on site,” said Dr. Louise Beyea, the zoo’s veterinarian. “This machine and the construction work have again given us the ability to perform diagnostic imaging of our animals right here.”

St. Luke’s donated the used x-ray machine after replacing it with newer diagnostic equipment. The zoo also thanked Kraus-Anderson Construction Co. for donated construction to create the lab, Gardner Builders for materials and the Board of Directors of the Lake Superior Zoological Society for facilitating the donations.

“These generous donations will enhance care for our animals at a time when we are creating a new, exciting zoo for the citizens of our region,” said Zoo CEO Corey Leet. “Our first responsibility is always the health of our animals. These donations represent a significant milestone in veterinary care in our zoo’s 94-year history.”

Beyea and Amy Gallagher, the zoo’s certified veterinary technician who played a key role in the project, demonstrated the new equipment by taking X-rays of the zoo’s Burmese python, Monty. The snake requires periodic X-rays to check his spine for arthritis.

“We’re honored to be able to donate this equipment to the zoo,” said Scott Studden, director of diagnostic imaging at St. Luke’s. “We know how important imaging is to ensure the health of people. We’re pleased to know that this equipment will now be used to help the zoo do the same for its animals.”

Greg Wegler, business development representative for Kraus-Anderson in Duluth said, “We have long supported the mission of the zoo by undertaking construction projects on the grounds. We’re pleased to help ensure that the staff and the animals can maximize the benefits of this generous equipment donation.”