A passion for zoo medicine

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Jb Minter, DVM, MS, DACZM, shares how he got his start in zoo medicine and what led him down this path

Jb Minter, DVM, MS, DACZM, director of Animal Health at the North Carolina Zoo, told dvm360 in an interview, about why he decided to pursue veterinary medicine, and specifically follow his passion for wildlife and exotic animals. He explains the many options he was faced with and how he ultimately landed at the North Carolina Zoo.

Below is a partial transcript.

Jb Minter, DVM, MS, DACZM: I was always the one I was finding the lizards and the snakes and the turtles, and was always in the ditch looking for some type of critter that I could bring home. And that kind of sparked my interest in wildlife. I think, Okay, well, I really like doing these types of things. But as you get older, and you start to develop out what is a career, what is a path that you can do with animals? The biggest thing that came to mind was I could be a veterinarian. Okay, well, that makes sense. In my experience, with veterinarians growing up, were that they did dogs and cats.

I went to undergraduate at Virginia Tech, which is out in the mountains of Virginia. So that exposed me to more of a rural background, more of a rural setting. I was an animal science major, so my experience there was very much not dogs and cats, but cows and horses and pigs and things of that nature. I really developed a fondness for cattle. Cattle and horses and those types of animals. And I was like, well, maybe dogs and cats are not what I want to do, maybe I what I want to do is large animal medicine.

I decided to pursue that master's degree in wildlife biology. So I moved out to Utah and I pursued it and finished a master's degree in wildlife biology working with wild canids.

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