Zoo Hosts 'Venom Day' to Train Physicians in Handling Venomous Snake and Reptile Bites

Zoo Hosts 'Venom Day' to Train Physicians in Handling Venomous Snake and Reptile Bites

Hey there, animal enthusiasts! It’s Hunter, the 21-year-old nature nerd and wildlife whisperer behind Hunter’s Ark. Today, I want to share an exciting event that took place at the John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The zoo recently hosted a special event called “Venom Day,” where resident physicians from Corewell Health/Michigan State University College of Human Medicine had the opportunity to learn about treating venomous snake and reptile bites. It was an incredible hands-on experience for these physicians!

During Venom Day, the resident physicians received simulated training and learned from both the Zoo staff and Dr. Brian Lewis, a medical toxicologist and emergency medicine physician. This event allowed them to gain valuable knowledge and skills in handling and treating snake and reptile bites.

The residents had the chance to listen to a presentation by Dr. Lewis and then participate in simulated training exercises. They learned how to handle bites from venomous snake species like the Bushmaster and eastern Massasauga, as well as a venomous lizard species called the Gila monster.

Throughout the event, the attendees got a behind-the-scenes look at how the Zoo staff handles venomous animals and the necessary response needed to treat bite incidents. It was a unique and educational experience for these resident physicians.

Now, you may be wondering why such training is important in Michigan, where only one venomous snake species, the eastern Massasauga, is native. Well, the John Ball Zoo staff may come into contact with other venomous animals depending on which ones they care for at the Zoo. So, even though bite incidents are rare for the Zoo staff, it’s crucial to be prepared and knowledgeable about treating bites from different species.

“Venom Day” was a fantastic collaboration between John Ball Zoo and the local resident physicians. Tessa Dugas, the curator at the Zoo, expressed how important it is to educate the community about wildlife and wild places. This event was a great example of that commitment.

That’s all for now, fellow animal enthusiasts! Stay tuned for more exciting wildlife stories and adventures here at Hunter’s Ark. Until next time!

- Hunter