State-of-the-art animal medical facility opening at the SC Aquarium

Image by Flickr user KirrilyRobert

To help handle the diversity of patients, the South Carolina Aquarium recently finished a full-scale animal medical facility.

Within the Aquarium building, the nearly 800 square foot treatment area includes an operating suite donated by Berchtold Corp, a treatment and necropsy area, pharmacy, radiology room and the staff veterinarian's office. Only a few aquariums in the country have a medical facility. The facility was made possible through a generous gift from an anonymous donor, a leadership gift by H. Dell Shutte, Jr. and family and a generous donation by Berchtold Corp.

"Caring for animals is at the heart of the Aquarium's mission," said Kevin Mills, Aquarium president and CEO. "This generous contribution from Berchtold will help us provide state-of-the-art medical care for the 7,000 animals in our collection, not to mention the sick and injured sea turtles that undergo rehabilitation and recovery at the Aquarium. As plans for our new Aquatic Animal Medical Facility began to take shape, Berchtold was immediately on board with technical assistance and support. Their corporate philosophy is derived from a simple ethic: We Help. We're so fortunate to have such a generous and caring partner in our community."

The Aquatic Animal Facility will change the face of animal care at the South Carolina Aquarium. Currently medical equipment is spread among three floors at the Aquarium. Staff veterinarian Dr. Shane Boylan says "currently if we have a procedure set up on the third floor, we may have to run down four flights of stairs to get a medication or device during a procedure" he adds having all the medical equipment in one area will make a huge difference in how we care for our animals "I can anesthetize, treat, take radiographs, record data and have medications on hand in one location which is much safer for the patient."

"The first time I visited the sea turtle ward at the Aquarium, I knew we had to get involved in this initiative," said Matt Weismiller, President of BERCHTOLD, Corp. "The Aquarium staff is focused on both advancing the care of marine animals as well as making a difference in the life of each individual animal. As a member of the Charleston and South Carolina communities, we are very proud to support such a caring and committed organization."

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