Bristol Zoo Gardens vet department has launched a weekly exotic pet consultancy at a local vet practice. The service is a referral only facility for vets wishing to send patients to the Zoo’s team of highlyspecialised exotic animal experts.

Sharon Redrobe

Held at Highcroft Veterinary Surgery in Whitchurch, Bristol, the clinic will accept referred cases from all over the country. Bristol Zoos head of veterinary services, Sharon Redrobe, will be supported by Highcrofts current exotic species vet Polly Cornwell.

Ms Redrobe is one of the most highly qualified veterinary surgeons in exotic species in Europe. She holds the RCVS Diploma in Zoological Medicine and the RCVS Certificate in Laboratory Animal Science. She has also seen plenty of unusual patients during her career – from checking tarantulas or operating on a parrot, to treating tortoises, x-raying a lizard or carrying out dental surgery on a ferret – no two days are ever the same.

She said: “This is the first time Bristol Zoo has been involved with an exotic pet veterinary outreach service and it is a great opportunity to use the knowledge and skills we have developed here at the Zoo and apply them to the birds, reptiles and other exotic animals that people keep as pets at home.

“It is also a great way of raising the welfare of pet exotic animals as well as sharing our skills and training with other veterinary professionals. We are pleased to be working with Highcroft Veterinary Surgery which is a fantastic practice and has the highest possible standards for a veterinary hospital to achieve.”

Ms Redrobe established Bristol Zoos vet service in 1999 and the department gained Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Centre of Excellence in Zoo Medicine status in 2005, which it has since retained.

Next month Sharon (November 26) will give a lecture about her experiences working with critically endangered western lowland gorillas. The lecture will focus on Sharons work with gorillas both at Bristol Zoo Gardens and at a primate orphanage in the Cameroon.

“Gorilla ER, a vets perspective in and out of Africa” is a fundraiser for Bristol Zoos 2009 Year of the Gorilla campaign and will be held in Bristol Zoos on-site lecture theatre from 6.30pm-9pm. Tickets cost 4 and booking is essential. To book phone 0117 974 7300 or email

If you are a veterinary surgeon wishing to refer animals to Sharon for treatment please telephone Highcroft Veterinary Surgery on 01275 838 473 or email For more information please visit the website at

If you are a pet owner who thinks your exotic pet has a problem, please contact your veterinary surgeon who will be able to advise you and refer you on to Ms Redrobe if necessary.

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