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  • May 2 meeting :: Wildlife Medicine

May 2 meeting :: Wildlife Medicine

  • 05/02/2019
  • 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • John Ball Zoo Treehouse, 1300 W. Fulton St. Grand Rapids, MI 49504
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Date: Thursday, May 2, 2019

Time: 6:30 pm - 9 pm

Location: John Ball Zoo Treehouse, 1300 W. Fulton St. Grand Rapids, MI 49504
This is the building at the top of the hill overlooking Grand Rapids, not the building just outside the gates.
For map or directions, visit

Speakers: Ryan Colburn, DVM and Allyson Swanson

Title: Wildlife Medicine for the General Practitioner: 

What do you do when a local family arrives with a turtle who has been hit by a car? What about an owl with a broken wing? Many practitioners don't feel comfortable with these unusual and unexpected cases, but the goal of this presentation will be to share with you what regulations surround the issue of wildlife medicine, what advice you can and should give clients calling with wildlife questions, what resources you can turn to to help with treating a wildlife patient and some practical clinical recommendations of how to handle common Michigan wildlife with medical needs. 

Its the end of the WMVMA Spring Season and we'd like to end it with a fun meeting with a twist. Veterinarians who are members of the WMVMA are welcome to attend this meeting with their spouses, significant others and/or families. We will be enjoying a delicious dinner in the John Ball Zoo Bissell Tree House starting at 6:45 pm. At 7:30 pm, there will be a presentation for WMVMA members, but family members will be invited to participate in a zoo-program and tour.

Please RSVP no later than Monday April 29th to be a part of this exciting meeting. Please note that this meeting is currently limited to WMVMA member veterinarians and their families. 


Dr. Ryan Colburn was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He graduated with his Bachelor's degree in biology in 2006 from Calvin College and then went on to receive his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University in 2010. Following graduation, Dr. Colburn completed a rotating internship in small animal medicine and surgery with Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he stayed on for the year following that internship as a senior clinician in the emergency department. Six months into that year, he began working part time as the veterinarian for the John Ball Zoo and gradually transitioned into this role full time by July 2012. Dr. Colburn has a passion for conservation and zoo and wildlife medicine and completed elective rotations during both veterinary school and his internship at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) in Sanibel Island, Florida.  

Allyson Swanson is a DNR & USFWS Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator with the Wildlife Rehab Center in Grand Rapids, MI. She has been a part of WRC since 2001 and has worked in the veterinary field since 2011. Allyson also heads WRC's Education and Outreach programs and is their main educational ambassador handler.

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