Poor recordkeeping contributes to animals' deaths.An independent study of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., has revealed problems with animal care, recordkeeping, and pest control pest control n → control m de plagas
pest control n → lutte f contre les nuisibles
pest control pest n . The interim report, part of a year-long study done for the U.S. Congress by the National Academy of Sciences, says the zoo has fallen behind on ensuring its animals have annual exams and other preventative care and has failed to follow its own policies and procedures Policies and Procedures are a set of documents that describe an organization's policies for operation and the procedures necessary to fulfill the policies. They are often initiated because of some external requirement, such as environmental compliance or other governmental .
The summary states that the zoo's recordkeeping is so poor that some veterinary records had been altered "weeks and years" after animals were treated. The summary flagged shortcomings A shortcoming is a character flaw.
Shortcomings may also be:
The science panel said pest control efforts have shown signs of improvement but remain inadequate and may potentially threaten the animal collection, employees, and visitors.
Zoo director Lucy H. Spelman, who said she would resign her position at the end of the year, said veterinarians Veterinarians and veterinary surgeons (vets) are medical professionals who operate exclusively on animals. Well-known and notable veterinarians include:
The report marks the fourth time in the past year that problems with the zoo's operations have been flagged in an independent review. An audit released in March 2003 by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association found that the zoo suffered from crumbling buildings, a stagnant animal collection, morale problems, and insufficient funding.
The study was commissioned by Congress after two endangered red pandas died in 2003 after eating rat poison rat poison n → mort-aux-rats f inv
rat poison n → Rattengift nt
rat poison n → that had been buried in their yard to kill rodents. A review of nutrition and recordkeeping revealed details about the deaths of two zebras from hypothermia hypothermia
Abnormally low body temperature, with slowing of physiological activity. It is artificially induced (usually with ice baths) for certain surgical procedures and cancer treatments. and starvation.
A Washington Post series published last year found that neglect, misdiagnosis mis·di·ag·no·sis
n. pl. mis·di·ag·no·ses
An incorrect diagnosis.
mis·diag·nose , or other mistakes had marked the deaths of 23 animals in the past six years. The series also revealed that records were changed or were incomplete in files on eight animal deaths.
The mortality rate at the zoo has dropped from just over 10 percent to about 7 percent in recent years.
Panel Chairman R. Michael Roberts R. Michael Roberts (1940) is an American biologist and a Curators' Professor of Animal Science at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Birth and education
R. Michael Roberts was born in 1940 in the United Kingdom. said there is a "pervasive weakness at many levels within the system, ranging from the keeper level through management."
The final report, due this summer, will provide a more extensive assessment of the zoo.