Share this page:

Help Us Bring a Mobile Vet Unit to the Zoo

The veterinarians at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute save animals every day. If an animal needs medical attention, the vets provide it with world-class care at the Zoo’s veterinary hospital.

We want to help our vets deliver even faster care. With a new Mobile Vet Unit, vets can bring the hospital to the animals.

The Mobile Vet Unit is the next step in providing excellence in animal health and wellness care. The brand-new vehicle will allow for easy, safe transport of cutting-edge medical equipment, veterinary staff and the Zoo’s animals when necessary.

But, we can’t make it happen without your generous support!

Privacy information

Donors will receive special recognition for contributions outlined below.

Receive Special Recognition for Your Gift

Recognition on the Zoo website
An invitation to the Mobile Vet Unit Opening Reception
An exclusive Meet-A-Keeper Tour with our animal care staff
A ride-along in the Mobile Vet Unit
A ride-along in the Mobile Vet Unit plus the opportunity to be behind the scenes during a veterinary procedure

For questions and additional information, please call 202-633-2922 or contact us.

Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) is a nonprofit organization, charitable tax ID number 52-0853312.

Learn More About the Mobile Vet Unit

We need your help to raise $175,000 so we can bring a Mobile Vet Unit to the Zoo.

The Mobile Vet Unit will be a state-of-the-art, type II emergency vehicle with cabinetry for medical supply storage, gurney attachments, rear passenger seats and seatbelts for medical staff, external lights, sirens, a speaker system, and much more — all that is needed for the smooth transport of people, equipment and animals.

The Mobile Vet Unit will help us transport animals when necessary, as well as valuable equipment and veterinary staff. Because we’ll be able to easily transport equipment, such as ultrasounds, there will be fewer situations in which we will need to bring an animal to the vet hospital at the Zoo. Instead, we’ll be able to bring the hospital to the animal.

When African lion Luke was limping due to a lesion on his spine, veterinarians and Great Cats keepers teamed up to administer deep-tissue laser therapy, electroacupuncture and dry-needle acupuncture. Since they began these treatments in spring 2018, our animal care team has seen significant improvement in Luke’s gait — and with the Mobile Vet Unit, the transportation of equipment would become much more efficient.

Yes, if there is an emergency. If an animal does need to go the hospital, the trip will be fast and efficient. But there will be many situations where the animal won’t need to go at all, because we’ll be able to bring the staff and equipment to the animal’s habitat.