Our zoo animals are cared for by a very dedicated and skilled staff of zookeepers and veterinarians. Recent physicals were done with our domestic animals, including a >1000 pound Devon bull named “Brutus”. Brutus will be getting a new companion soon so we wanted to be sure he was going to be up for it. So how do you catch a bull this large—very carefully when you don’t have cattle equipment for safety.
Cattle ranches have head gates with sorting lanes to move cows into the head gate where the cows head is put under control. We had to improvise a bit. He was sweet talked into his stall with treats and once locked inside we had to secure his head and large swinging horns. Carefully a rope was set around his horns so we were able to secure head motion. A farm gate was used to allow the veterinarian to get close to him to give him a physical. We drew blood to evaluate his health and he was released aback out into his pasture. He is fit as a fiddle and will be looking forward to some new company soon.