Michael R. Cranfield, DVM
Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, University of California, Davis, CA, USA
Dr. Cranfield served as chief veterinarian at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore from 1982 until 2003, when he became the zoo’s Director of the Animal Management, Research and Conservation Department. He also focused on a variety of research topics, including avian malaria, reptilian cryptosporidiosis, and primate reproductive physiology. In 1999, Dr. Cranfield took on leadership of Gorilla Doctors, an organization that provides medical care to the critically endangered mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) that call Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda home. With a One Health focus, the organization also supports health programs for the people and their animals living and working in gorilla habitats. Recently, Dr. Cranfield transitioned to a full-time position at the Drayer Wildlife Health Center at the University of California, Davis, where he splits his time between overseeing Gorilla Doctors operations in Africa, fundraising on the road, and administering the project from the U.S.
Dr. Cranfield will share his experiences between practicing clinical medicine in a zoo setting and contributing to a field conservation project, which eventually required full-time commitment. This presentation will attempt to highlight the pros and cons of working in these two very different environments.