The Milwaukee County Zoo (MCZ) recently promoted Christy Rettenmund, DVM, Dipl. ACZM to the position of senior staff veterinarian — and we’re thrilled to share more about her and her tireless efforts working on behalf of the animals!
A bit of background:
Ultimately, Dr. Christy is quite busy leading the Zoo’s team of dedicated animal care professionals. Let’s get to know her!
What aspects of your new role do you most enjoy — and why?
My favorite part is getting to work with a wide variety of species and providing them with high-quality veterinary care. I also really enjoy mentoring the zoological medicine residents and collaborating with other veterinarians and specialists about complex cases.
What would you consider the most difficult part of your job?
Sadly, we’re not always successful at treating — or saving — every animal that’s sick.
What inspired you to become a veterinarian?
I’ve always enjoyed working with animals and wanted to be a veterinarian from a young age. And when I was a little older, the James Herriot books really inspired me. (James Herriot was widely considered “the world’s most beloved animal doctor.”)
What are some of the more interesting cases that you’ve worked on?
Most recently, we’ve had some intriguing cases with our bonobos. Qasai was treated for a brain abscess, Noki had a benign bony tumor removed from his skull, and Pabu was maintained on a ventilator for several days to manage his respiratory disease.
What are some of your favorite memories from your time as a veterinarian so far?
I really enjoy spending time doing field work. I’ve had the opportunity to work with loons, pelicans, black bears, and Baird’s tapirs in the field. All those experiences were exciting and a nice change from my everyday work.
What advice would you give someone interested in becoming a veterinarian at a zoo?
Don’t give up. It’s a very long, hard road with a lot of training to become a zoo veterinarian — but it’s worth it!
Do you have a favorite animal at the Zoo?
Caribou are my favorite animals here.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy rock climbing, kickboxing, and reading.
Thank you for chatting with us, Dr. Christy, and thank you for all that you do for the animals here at the Zoo!