To restrain animals safely is always a troublesome topic for wildlife researchers and veterinarians. The high mortality rate of Formosan Reeve’s muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi micrurus) after restraint and anesthesia has been perplexing. The Taipei Zoo has recently created protocols for health examinations of the Formosan Reeve’s muntjac to assist with disease prevention, establishment of animal identification, physiologic databases, and other research requests. The purpose of this paper is to outline restraint methods and physical examination of these animals according to our experience. Seventy-two individuals were examined in 2003. These examination protocols included the following stages: animal management and working group/instrument preparation before operation; proceeding restraint/anesthesia and physical examination items during operation; observation, treatment, and laboratory analysis post operation. We collected the following physiologic data during the procedures: body weight, breath rate, heart rate, blood oxygen ratio, and immobilizing drugs according to gender and age. After establishing examination protocols, we were able to increase animal safety during procedures. We hope the restraint and physical examination protocols and physiologic analysis will not only provide assistance for animal management, medical treatment and research in captivity, but will be helpful for wild muntjac researchers.
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