Bequest Gives First Glimpse of New Life
Wednesday 12th May 2010
Bequest Gives First Glimpse of New Life

A rare image of an endangered Francois Langur growing in the womb of its mother was first seen thanks to a bequest made to the Taronga Foundation.

The bequest, left by the late Jacqueline Crookston, enabled the Taronga Wildlife Hospital to purchase a much needed digital x-ray machine, and when the Zoo's veterinary team tested out the new equipment they were delighted to see an astonishingly clear image of a baby leaf-eating monkey steadily growing inside its mother 'Saigon'.

The Zoo's Senior Veterinarian, Larry Vogelnest, said: "The image was extraordinarily clear. We were all completely amazed at the incredible view we had of the foetus. It completely surpassed our expectations."

The Zoo would not have been able to purchase the state-of the art technology without the bequest which was received by the Taronga Foundation. 

The new equipment will now make it possible to radiograph any creature from the world's smallest gliding mammal to our large and rather muscular Red Kangaroos. Providing amazing detail and flexibility, the new system will make veterinary diagnosis easier and speedier, limiting the amount of time animals need to be under anaesthetic.

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"Just as digital cameras have changed the face of photography, this new system eliminates the need for film and chemicals and offers us much more sophisticated imaging tools. It will help us to be much more efficient and save time with faster diagnosis," said Larry.

The late Miss Crookston's bequest comes at a time when the Taronga Foundation, the fundraising arm of Taronga Zoo is celebrating its 10th Anniversary.

The Foundation is celebrating by showcasing 10 important projects the average Zoo visitor may not know about. This includes the remarkable work of the Zoo's veterinary team and Wildlife Hospital which cares for not only the Zoo's resident animals but also treat up to 1000 injured or orphaned native animals annually, many which are released back into the wild.

Ms Crookston, who was well known in the Camden area, had been a long-time supporter of the Zoo and its efforts for wildlife.