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      OKC Zoo allows visitors to watch animal surgeries

      How would you like to watch a live animal surgery at the Oklahoma City Zoo? Visitors at the zoo will be able to do that and more at a brand new animal hospital.Right now crews are wrapping up construction on the 21,000 sq ft, state-of-the-art animal hospital like Oklahoma has never seen."There's been a lot of planning going into our new hospital and we're just months away from being able to share it with our audience," said zoo Deputy Director Alan Varsik.Until now, even simple procedures were kept behind closed doors. Starting this winter, everything from wound care, to surgery, to teeth cleaning and food preparation will be done in front of the public."We really wanted to connect more with the visitor in a way that was sort of unique and that we hadn't done before. This was our opportunity to do that," said zoo Veterinarian Jennifer D'Agostino.D'Agostino says one of the most exciting aspects of the project, for her, is the expanded space. She and other veterinarians will have about four times the space to treat all 2,000 animals.A word of caution for animal lovers, even risky surgeries, like the one where a six month old giraffe died in April, will be a full display."Well have a sign that, you're going to be seeing live medical procedures," said D'Agostino. "So if you're squeamish of that kind of thing you might want to take caution before you come in."For adults excited about the opportunity and kids curious about a veterinarian career, this is a chance of a lifetime."Hopefully we cna give them a little bit of insight into what it takes to become a veterinarian and what a zoo veterinarian does," said D'Agostino.The $9.1 million project should be completed by this winter. The zoo plans to post surgery times at the zoo so visitors know when to check them out.To learn more about the animal hospital click here.
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