Most animals at Omaha's Zoo must be anesthetized or tranquilized in order for routine procedures to be performed safely for the people and for the animals.
This is a safe and effective way to anesthetize non-venomous reptiles, birds and small mammals quickly with minimal handling.
For animals that have a hard time breathing under anesthesia or for longer procedures, an endotracheal tube, like those used in human and small animal anesthesia, provides the anesthesic gas and oxygen directly into the lungs
For large and dangerous animals or for animals in a big enclosure, remote darting by blow pipe, dart pistol or dart rifle provides a safe way to deliver the anesthetic drugs.
To anesthetize fish for x-rays or surgery, the anesthetic is put in the water and then pumped through the gills.
Venomous (Poisonous) Snake Anesthesia
Venomous or poisonous snakes periodically need to be handled for examinations and medical care. As the venom from a bite of these snakes may cause serious illness or death, special handling and anesthesia techniques are used for safe restraint. Snakes can be coaxed into a clear plastic tube for visual examination or they can be placed into a clear chamber (box) to anesthetize prior to examination.