Meet the Veterinary Technician: Alice Rohauer at Buffalo Zoo

Alice and “Dudley,” a boat-billed heron chick that she is hand-rearing. Copyright Buffalo Zoo.

Alice and “Dudley,” a boat-billed heron chick that she is hand-rearing. Photo by Eric Lee, Copyright Buffalo Zoo.

Describe your job:  I am the veterinary technician at the Buffalo Zoo.  My job includes caring for sick animals in the hospital wards. More specifically, I am responsible for the monitoring and surgical preparation of animals under anesthesia, blood collection, IV catheters, laboratory techniques, lab specimen shipment and collection, radiology, dental scaling, getting medication to keepers for treatments, immobilizing techniques (including the use of CO2 rifles and blow gun equipment, as well as manual restraint techniques), around-the-clock hand-rearing of neonates rejected by the mother, as well as hospital stocking and maintenance.

How long have you been in your position:  I have been a licensed veterinary technician since 1984. I spent the first three years of my career in a small animal hospital and have been employed at the Buffalo Zoo for almost 25 years as the staff veterinary technician.

What in your back ground helped you get the job:  During my college training, students were required to fulfill 80 hours of preceptorship at a veterinary hospital.  During my summers and school breaks, I volunteered at the Buffalo Zoo, putting in more than 250 hours. After graduation, I volunteered as needed at the Zoo for certain cases that required extra monitoring.

What is your favorite thing about your job:  I enjoy working with the vast variety of species we have here at the Buffalo Zoo.  I like that every day is a new and exciting challenge. I feel like I am doing my part in the education and conservation of these wonderful species.  I have also enjoyed hand-rearing some of the newborns in the collection that were rejected by their mothers.  I have raised hyenas, addax, reindeer, gemsbok and a boat-billed heron, just to name a few.

Elise Waugh

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