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Columbus Zoo saving plasma to help save animal lives

An innovative practice at The Columbus Zoo is helping to save baby animals all over the U.S. They’ve created a plasma bank for animals, a first of its kind.

An innovative practice at The Columbus Zoo is helping to save baby animals all over the U.S. They’ve created a plasma bank for animals, a first of its kind.

The idea started about two years ago. Zoo workers trained giraffes and perfected a method to draw blood while the animals are awake.

They recently got a centrifuge machine to separate the plasma out in-house and quickly. They can then save it and use it in acute medical situations or give it to other zoos in need.

“To know that you are doing something that is having an amazing impact on the lives of baby animals, it just makes me feel like we’re making a difference, which is really, really important to us,” said veterinarian Dr. Priya Baporda-Villaverde.

The Columbus Zoo works collaboratively with the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado on the plasma bank.

They're willing to send the plasma wherever it's needed to help other animals.