A Living Exhibit

Animal Connections TrailerA couple months ago I saw this video with Dr. Fitzgerald of Animal Planet’s Emergency Vet’s fame touring the Smithsonian’s new mobile exhibit on Veterinary Medicine.

It looked awesome but I couldn’t find a list of tour dates and was worried it would skip us here in the Smithsonian’s home town – Washington DC.

I was really excited when I found out it would be right next to the natural history museum last weekend. When I tweeted for details, they told me they were looking for veterinarians volunteer in the exhibit and bring the topic to life by answering questions about what it was like to be a vet.

Interactive VetI couldn’t resist being an interactive part of the exhibit. It was a blast and everyone had great questions and stories about their pets.

Near the wall featuring x-rays of pets who swallowed everything from padlocks to chess pieces, many families shared crazy items ingested by the animals that they had at home. Along the wall featuring tools used in large animal practice, I explained why we make cows swallow large magnets for their own health.

I saw one boy’s eyes get big when he touched the large teeth marks in a ball that used to be a tiger’s favorite plaything. Unfortunately, I did have to let a little girl down when I told her that no, I had not personally worked on dolphins, but she perked up when she learned I did know a vet who worked with elephants.

The exhibit was very well done. They had 5 main sections (pets at home, large animal medicine, zoo medicine, wildlife, and in the veterinary clinic) and each section let you touch, explore, and experiment.

One game showed you which pets would be best for you, another how to balance a cow’s diet for maximum milk production, and another on how to target train a snake.

Interactive Diagnosis GameArguably the most fun part of the exhibit was a interactive game that put you in the veterinarian’s shoes and let you diagnose what is wrong with a dog, pig, or cheetah.

Like all Smithsonian exhibits, admission is FREE. While the AVMA and Zoetis are supporting this exhibit, they are still raising money for the 2014 tour. They’ll have an official a list of tour dates when that’s complete. If it’s coming your way, you’ve got to check it out.

I’ll try and post here when the list of tour dates comes out!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *