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A Lion's Share

A Lion's ShareFor Tufts graduate Jeremy Goodman, caring for different animals from all over the globe is all in a day’s work. South Bend, In.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [04.01.03] Dr. Jeremy Goodman has a very unusual office. On a daily basis, he works alongside exotic species from five continents - including a white tiger, an African bullfrog, a lion and a 250-pound warthog. The lead veterinarian at the Potawatomi Zoo, the Tufts graduate oversees these and more than 400 other animals. While his job has all the makings of a TV show on "The Animal Planet," the Tufts graduate says his work isn't about excitement and adventure - it's about keeping his animals healthy.

"Certainly, what we do at the zoo isn't the same kind of activity done on TV," Goodman told the South Bend Tribune. "I do take significantly more precautions with our animals. I need to show up for work tomorrow."

As the Assistant Director of the Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend, Indiana, Goodman is the head veterinarian in charge of caring for the zoo's diverse group of animals. It can be a challenging job, Goodman says, because many of the animals only see him when they are sick or distressed.

"You can see a difference in behavior when an animal is with their keeper," Goodman told the Tribune. "The stress levels do tend to get a bit higher whenever I step into the room."

Goodman - who graduated in 1996 from Tufts' School of Veterinary Medicine - conducts annual exams on the animals, as well as vaccinations, blood work-ups and surgical procedures.

"You might find him examining the X-rays of an African bullfrog or those of a tiny, 1.8-gram Peking robin," reported the Tribune.

But to the animals, some of the routine procedures Goodman performs may not seem so routine.

"Although what I am doing for them is for their own good, at times I'm sure that they don't perceive it that way," Goodman told the Tribune.

A lot of his best information about his patients comes from the zookeepers who work throughout the 22 acre zoo - the oldest in Indiana.

"I depend on our zookeepers, just as a pediatrician relies on parents to describe what is happening with their children," Goodman told the Tribune.

Goodman worked at the Potawatomi Zoo only three years before his promotion to lead vet in January. Already the Tufts graduate has had a chance to work with some unique and rare animals - including Ivory, a recently acquired 6-year-old female white tiger.

"We are very excited that this is her new home," Goodman told the Tribune.

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