MIAMI (FOX 13) - Veterinarians at Zoo Miami took on a very large patient this week - a 13-year-old male Orinoco crocodile from South America.
The nearly 10-foot long, 396-pound reptile had an infected wound they think was caused by a bite from another crocodile.
To treat the massive croc, it had to be immobilized and transported to the zoo hospital where a team of veterinarians and zoo staff administered care.
One of the top veterinary specialists in the field of herpetology, Dr. Doug Mader volunteered his time, along with some of his staff members, to assist in the procedure.
The crocodile received several x-rays and blood tests as part of an overall exam before the affected area was treated surgically. They removed the infected material and medicated the wound.
The crocodile will remain in the zoo hospital for several days to allow sufficient healing before he's returned to his exhibit at the Amazon and Beyond area of the zoo.
Zoo Miami says Orinoco crocodiles are a critically endangered species found in isolated pockets of the fresh water tributaries of the Orinoco River in Colombia and Venezuela. They are the largest predators in South America and can grow to 15 feet long while feeding on a wide variety of fish, birds and small mammals. Their biggest threats are habitat loss and poaching for their skin and meat. Learn more at http://www.zoomiami.org/