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Phoenix the red panda recently visited the WCVM. Photo courtesy City of Saskatoon.

Phoenix the panda visits the WCVM

Phoenix the red panda recently visited the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) for a check-up and received a clean bill of health from wildlife veterinarians.

The Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo have launched a video that details a general medical exam at the WCVM's Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC).

"The opportunity to create this unique video highlights the longstanding partnership in animal health between the WCVM and the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo," says Lynne Lacroix, director of recreation and community development for the City of Saskatoon.

In the video Dr. Miranda Sadar, assistant professor of exotic, wildlife and zoological medicine, and her team check Phoenix for parasites, examine the panda's teeth, take blood samples and X-rays, conduct an ultrasound examination and more.

Showcasing the educational aspects of the animal health program benefits many – from providing veterinary students with hands-on experience to showing elementary and high school students the steps involved in conducting an annual physical examination on a wild animal.

Phoenix the panda is a permanent Saskatoon "citizen." He came from the Assiniboine Zoo in Winnipeg in 2014 and now lives in the PotashCorp Ark exhibit at the Forestry Farm.

Red pandas, known for their resemblance to raccoons, have been classified as vulnerable due to habitat loss and poaching. Slightly larger than a domestic cat, red pandas are easily recognized by their reddish-brown fur and shaggy tail.

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