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Capture of koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) by remote injection of tiletamine—zolazapam (Zoletil®) and medetomidine


Michael LynchA and Roger MartinB


AVeterinary Department, Melbourne Zoo, Parkville, Vic. 3052, Australia.
BDepartment of Zoology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic. 3052, Australia.

 

ABSTRACT

A combination of tiletamine-zolazapam (Zoletil®) and medetomidine delivered by remote injection was used to capture free-ranging Victorian koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus victor). The trial established that dose rates in the order of 3.5 mg kg-1 Zoletil and 55 [tg kg-1 medetomidine were appropriate to capture animals in this way. Of 17 animals receiving the combination by dart and left for at least 10 min before intervention, 13 fell or could be easily pushed from the tree. The other four animals did not become sufficiently anaesthetised and were captured manually. Two animals displayed mild bradycardia and another two animals had mild respiratory depression, which were attributed to the medetomidine component of the combination. All animals recovered uneventfully with the aid of atipamezole, a specific antagonist for medetomidine.

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  • 2013
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