SAGE Veterinarian & AnimalScan Performs Pro-Bono Procedures on Oakland Zoo Animals



August 12, 2020


SAGE Veterinarian Performs Pro-Bono Procedures on Oakland Zoo Animals

Board-Certified Anesthesiologist Conducts MRI on Hyena and CT Scan on Tortoise


Redwood City, Calif. – Operations were different than normal today at SAGE Veterinary Center’s Redwood City hospital. SAGE’s board-certified Anesthesiologist, Dr. Kris Kruse-Elliott, in partnership with AnimalScan, conducted a pro-bono brain MRI on a hyena and CT scan on a desert tortoise. Both animals are from the Oakland Zoo.

After being closed since March 17, the Oakland Zoo reopened to the public on July 29 with new health and safety protocols. Due to financial struggles during COVID-19, AnimalScan and SAGE Veterinary Centers offered their services to the Oakland Zoo free of charge.

SAGE Anesthesiologist, Dr. Kris Kruse-Elliott, was on site due to the usual challenges associated with an MRI anesthesia made even more difficult due to the nature of dealing with a carnivore.

“We take great pride in providing care to all our animals,” said Dr. Alex Herman, Vice-President of the Veterinary Hospital at Oakland Zoo. “Tusker (the hyena) acted strange during the last few weeks and we suspected he had a form of brain disease and believed Nemo (the desert tortoise) may have a form of granulomatous disease in the abdomen. We are thankful to SAGE Veterinary Centers and AnimalScan for helping provide us the needed MRI and CT scan for both of these animals pro-bono.”

“The normal cost for an MRI and CT scan can range from anywhere to $2,000 to $5,000 each,” said Jim Stuppino, CEO of AnimalScan. “The Oakland Zoo is home to more than 750 native and exotic animals, and we are happy that we could provide this care to help keep their animals healthy.”

To help the Oakland Zoo raise money for additional large animal procedures, donate here.


About SAGE Veterinary Centers

SAGE is the leading veterinary specialty and emergency group on the West Coast. SAGE operates four state‐of‐the‐art hospitals, open 24/7/365 in Northern California, located in Campbell, Concord, Dublin, and Redwood City, two ophthalmology clinics in San Carlos and San Francisco, emergency centers in Yakima and Pasco, WA and a specialty hospital in Anchorage, AK. Through its Adobe Animal Hospital affiliation, SAGE expanded emergency and urgent care while also partnering with the leading primary care hospitals in the San Francisco Bay area, serving the community from hospitals in Los Altos and Los Gatos. Since its inception in 1992, SAGE has embodied a patient‐first philosophy and commitment to collaboration that has led to a reputation for delivering innovative veterinary medicine using the most advanced technologies available.

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