Come behind the scenes to see a Sun Bear vet check!

Perth Zoo’s beloved pair of bears Bopha and Jamran recently had a full health check in our veterinary hospital.
As part of the Zoo’s proactive approach to care, all animals have individualised plans made up of enrichment activities, specialised diets and of course, a scheduled visit to vet department each year.  
This month, it was the bears turn!


Female Bopha, and male Jamran both had a general check-up under anaesthetic where teams examined their body condition, dental health, joint mobility and collected pathology samples for testing.

Veterinary Services Manager, Dr. Rebecca Vaughan-Higgins, said: “These scheduled health exams an important way to monitor changes in general health and wellbeing.
“It’s always valuable to have x-rays and bloodwork to use as a baseline for any potential health issues in the future.
“Bopha and Jamran are looking quite healthy for their age, but both needed a dental scale and polish to get rid of some calculus build-up.”
As well as a scheduled health check, our dedicated keepers have developed such strong relationships with the bears that they’re able to brush their teeth!
Through positive training and a good rapport, the bears are actively involved in their own dental care. They’ll sit and have their teeth brushed with an electric toothbrush and get a tasty strawberry as a reward.  


Ongoing preventative healthcare like this is so important every animal at Perth Zoo.
But as animals can’t explain their ailments, our veterinary teams rely heavily on accurate testing to make sure we’re delivering the very best targeted care.
Unfortunately, Perth Zoo’s current ultrasound machine is nearing its end of life. That’s why we are asking for the public’s help to raise funds for a new state-of-the-art ultrasound machine.
This critical piece of equipment is needed to ensure animals, just like Bopha and Jamran, continue to get the health care they deserve.
But beyond the care of our animals, Perth Zoo’s veterinary department also plays a leading role in the medical care of wildlife.
Our vets and nurses work tirelessly to support injured native wildlife – they treat around 300 endangered black cockatoos every year and that number is steadily growing.

This piece of vital equipment will help us continue this life-saving work for wildlife.

All animals deserve good health care. Our veterinary and keeping teams have the skills and the expertise, but we need the public’s help to get the equipment to match.

As a conservation agency, we are majority self-funded and any donation – big or small – will make a big impact.