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Veterinary Department History

The Buffalo Zoo has had a veterinarian caring for the animals in its collection since early last century. Dr. Frank E. McClelland visited the Zoo at least once a week from 1914 to 1963.  When Dr. McClelland died in July of 1963, his sons and other associates from the veterinary hospital that he had owned took over care of the collection from 1963-1980.  In March of 1980, Dr. Allen W. Prowten, one of McClelland’s associates, became the first full-time veterinarian at the Buffalo Zoo. Dr. Prowten continued to provide veterinary care until his retirement in October of 2001. After Dr. Prowten’s retirement, Dr. Frank N. Ridgley took over the full-time position. Dr. Frank left the Zoo in November of 2006. After an extensive search, Dr. Kurt Volle took over in May of 2007 and continues to serve as the attending veterinarian for the Zoo.


The Frank E. McClelland Memorial Veterinary Hospital was completed in April of 1968. It was the first structure built at the Zoo dedicated to animal care.