From injured gazelles to sick giraffes, Dr Arshad Toosy is responsible for the health of more than 3,800 animals in the Emirates. The manager of veterinary operations at Al Ain Zoo speaks about a typical day tending to his many patients.
The first thing I do when I open my eyes is think "thank God I'm alive". The second thing I think about is animals.
I come to the zoo. The first thing I do is see the sick animals in the animal health centre. Right now we have got a hedgehog, a reem gazelle, which was hand reared, and a sand cat, which is under treatment. They were doing fine this morning.
We have a meeting of all the vets. We go through the cases which are due for follow-up that day. This morning we had two giraffes which were vomiting, a macaw parrot which was losing his hair and then we had a chimp which had an injury on his digits.
We treat the animals. I treated two young sheep with fluids and antibiotics and took some blood samples. I saw the giraffe which was vomiting, and I took a feather sample from the macaw.
We visit the animals in quarantine to make sure they are OK. We have lions, cheetahs and five sheep in there. We're opening a petting zoo, so yesterday we got a pair of camels.
Lunch. We eat here or at a restaurant.
We plan treatment. We are going to do some dental work on one of the cheetahs. It had some trauma in the past. Maybe it banged into the fence or they had a fight with each other, so there's a discolouration of one of the canines.
I do paperwork, go through the records and keep files up to date. Each animal has his own medical file. I also communicate with the labs to get the results. Right now we're also planning for our 2012 budget.
We see the animals that we checked in the morning. There are two lions with injuries from bite wounds and scratches from fighting. We're also going to catch the gazelles that need treatment.
I go home. The first thing I do is say hello to my family, say my prayer and soon after that I go jogging. That's the only thing that keeps my stress levels down.
We have dinner.
I go to bed. Last year I was called at late hours when we had a cat on bottle feed to say he had not taken his feed or he looks a bit lethargic. But it doesn't happen very often. Every weekend I am at the zoo, even if it is just for half an hour to check how things are going.
* Gillian Duncan