Donation to Lake Superior Zoo Benefits Animal Health

X-ray Machine Donated by St. Luke's Hospital

DULUTH, Minn. – As many of us know, dealing with a broken bone can be difficult. When it comes to animals, chances are the diagnosis is even harder to pinpoint.

Now, thanks to generous donors in the Northland, the Lake Superior Zoo is now equipped with the latest and greatest X-ray technology.

“Monty [the Burmese Python] is the kind of snake that doesn’t strike, he’s smooth,” said Dr. Louise Beyea, Veterinarian at Lake Superior Zoo.

Spending the day with snakes, it’s an opportunity many, wouldn’t wait to turn down. For the team of veterinarians at the Lake Superior Zoo, it’s another day on the job.

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the medical staff.

“We were severely limited when it came to electronic imaging. We had the ability to take an X-ray, but we didn’t have the ability to develop it,” said Beyea.

In just a few short weeks, that all changed.

“Now they have a state-of-the-art radiographic system,” said Scott Studden, Director of Diagnostic Imaging for St. Luke’s.

“We were installing new radiographic equipment at our Miller Creek Clinic,” said Studden.

Studden was quick to think of a new home for the gently used X-ray equipment being replaced by technology’s new advances.

He heard through the grapevine, the Zoo was in new of updated image technology.

“Earlier last year we decided to build a new clinic in our Miller Creek location,” said Studden.

Out with the old, in with the new. Studden says the X-ray machine donated to the Zoo would be $120,000 dollars if purchased new.

Today’s value, is right around $50,000 for the secondhand machine.

“We heard through Kraus-Anderson Construction, that there was a need at the Zoo,” said Studden.

Before this, X-ray equipment from 1974 sat useless inside the Zoo’s medical facility. Since 2004 it wasn’t able to be used.

“The only time we were taking X-rays is when it was an absolute necessity,” said Beyea.

“As Gardner Builders, we were able to contribute as a sponsor in providing all the material for it,” said Jonathan with Gardner Builders.

Local companies providing time, tools and equipment to install the machine for future medical endeavors.

“It’s a great asset to our community, having the Zoo and being able to help them continue to provide that level of care to the animals,” said Jonathan.

“My first look at the X-rays, Monty looks perfect! This is an incredible gift. The generosity of St. Luke’s has been beyond my wildest dreams,” said Beyea.

Veterinarians at the Zoo say in the future they will have X-ray pictures on their website.

Visitors will then have the chance to see electronic images and real animals, at the same time.

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