May 15, 2020 – In a time where we can feel dispirited and uncertain, conservation continues. This week brings a little ray of sunshine to the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo to brighten our spirits.
Nearly a decade ago, the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo began construction on the Florida Wilderness Trail, which would be home to Florida native animals. In an effort to support imperiled species, the goal was to bring in Key deer. This endangered species is managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. After years of building trust and credibility with these agencies by protecting Perdido Key beach mice and Florida grasshopper sparrows, USFWS called zoo staff when they found an orphaned Key deer fawn on Key Deer Wildlife Refuge. From that point, dedicated individuals from multiple organizations and agencies worked together to give the little fawn round the clock care and bring him safely to Gainesville. Upon his arrival, he was taken to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Zoological Medicine Service for a full checkup and initial care.
The SF Teaching Zoo is exceedingly grateful for the relationships we have built over the years, making this all achievable. It shows us that conservation doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It takes a collaboration of partners across many disciplines to save a species. Community makes conservation possible.
For now, the fawn will be quarantined behind-the-scenes, receiving top-notch care from our dedicated staff. In the future, guests will be able to see this tiny deer across the bridge from the American alligators. Continue to follow the SF Teaching Zoo on Facebook and Instagram for guaranteed adorable updates!