International Speakers and Beautiful Birds Draw Attention at Purdue Veterinary Student-Led Conference – Purdue University


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Colorful birds and fascinating talks were the order of the day last weekend at the two-day Medicine of Mammalian and Avian Species (MMAS) Symposium hosted at Lynn Hall by students in the Exotic Animal Club.  The program provided attendees with lectures covering basic medicine, handling, nutrition, intubation, anesthesia and many other topics for avian and small mammals.
More than 60 people attended, either in-person at Lynn Hall or virtually via Zoom.  Symposium coordinator for the Exotic Animal Club, Keishla Marrero-Acosta, of the DVM Class of 2024, said attendees particularly appreciated the various wetlabs, which included an avian triage and bandaging lab, a small mammal intubation and intraosseous catheter placement lab, an avian handling lab and a small exotic mammal handling lab.
The symposium, held Saturday and Sunday, October 22-23, opened with a keynote lecture on Conservation of Bearded and Egyptian Vultures by Mr. Anton Vaidl and Dr. Helena Vaidlová of the Prague Zoo.  The husband and wife team from the Czech Republic is well known for their reputation and experience in the field of avian and exotic medicine.  The symposium also featured talks by a dozen other speakers, including avian and exotic animal specialists from the College of Veterinary Medicine and private specialty practices, who presented lectures and lead hands-on labs.
The Symposium was open to veterinarians, veterinary nurses, veterinary and veterinary nursing students, and undergraduates, and featured concurrent lecture tracks covering avian and exotic companion animal medicine.
The keynote speakers brought a wealth of knowledge and insight.  Vaidl, a life-long bird lover, was the incubator attendant and assistant to the bird curator at the Prague Zoo from 1995 to 2006.  The year following, he served as curator-consultant at the Morocco Birds International, Inc. bird park in the Philippines. Several months later, he returned to the Czech Republic where he has worked as the curator of birds at the Prague Zoo since 2008.  Over the past 20 years, he has had the opportunity to work with more than 600 different bird species including about 80 parrot species.  During his time working as curator, the Zoo began to breed Palm cockatoos, Pesquet’s parrots, Hyacinth macaws, Kea parrots, Blue-naped parrots, Golden shouldered parakeets, Yellow and black-bellied Jamaican amazons, Red-tailed amazons and other parrot species.
Vaidl and Dr. Vaidlová together wrote a comprehensive book on the issue of parrot breeding and veterinary care. Vaidl also has published articles on the breeding of various species of birds and has presented his lectures in more than 20 countries around the world. Dr. Helena Vaidlová graduated in 2004 from the University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences in Brno, Czech Republic. During her studies and following graduation, she obtained an internship and worked in Southeast Asia with elephants and parrots. In 2008 she and her husband opened a veterinary clinic focused on birds. She now also works part-time for the Prague Zoo and is a Parrot TAG veterinary advisor for the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria.
Writer(s): Kevin Doerr | pvmnews@purdue.edu
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