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Thumper surgery

A veterinarian removes one of Thumper’s mandibular incisors.

Thumper the swamp wallaby holds a special place in our keepers’ hearts. Notoriously shy upon his arrival many years ago, this 11-year-old male has since blossomed into a bold, gregarious marsupial who takes charge of the Kangaroo Walkabout. He’s also one of just two swamp wallabies at any facility accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Last week, keepers noticed Thumper’s face and jaw were swollen. He was drooling, couldn’t close his mouth and had difficulty eating. He was brought to the L3Harris Animal Care Center for a full wellness checkup, which included radiographs and a blood draw.

Our veterinarians discovered the roots of his mandibular incisors (or lower front teeth) were infected, and both teeth had to be extracted.


extracted incisors

Take a look at those incisors!

This procedure marked the inaugural use of our intravenous fluid pump, which was purchased off of our wish list by a group of generous Zoo supporters sharing the cost. The pump enabled us to administer a precise dosage of antibiotics over a specified period, freeing up our hands and reducing the length of time Thumper had to spend under anesthesia.

Thumper awoke from the procedure without issue and will spend a couple of weeks recovering behind the scenes with some kangaroo “friends.” He is on a soft-food diet until the surgical site heals and his sutures dissolve.

If you would like to support animal care at the Zoo during this financially challenging time, click here to make a contribution.