Our Salmon Oil's support to an ailing whale led to more successful uses… and an invitation to attend the zoo vets' annual conference

by Craig Weatherby and Randy Hartnell

Last year, we reported on our unique experience with Beethoven… the whale, that is, not the composer.

Beethoven the beluga whale was living at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington, when he fell seriously ill.

But Beethoven enjoyed a complete recovery, with Vital Choice Sockeye Salmon Oil supplement playing a prominent role in his nutritional program.

In fact, his caretakers considered our whole, unrefined, certified-pure Salmon oil a key supporting element in Beethoven's recovery.

This account comes from last year's zoo press release:

“‘He's made a complete recovery,' said Dr. Allison Case, associate veterinarian for the Zoo. Part of his treatment involved hand-feeding him gruel laced with calorie-rich salmon oil for nutrition and to help him gain weight” (PDZA 2007).

To read the full storyincluding our interview with Dr. Casesee “Salmon Oil Aids in Recovery of Beluga Whale.

Broader animal benefits

Their successful experience with our Salmon Oil led the Point Defiance veterinarian team to try it with other creatures.

In particular, they've raved about our Salmon Oil's salutory effects on polar bears.

One of the polar bears had a painful split paw pad that wouldn't heal… but it did after they began feeding it our Salmon Oil.

When we asked whether he seemed to like it, his caretaker replied, “Like it? No, he loves it… if he's eating a piece of meat and we bring the fish oil out he'll drop the meat and run to the oil.”

One of the Point Defiance veterinarians heads up the national polar bear husbandry program, and wants to see it added to the diet of all polar bears in captivity.

And as another Point Defiance vet told us after giving the oil to an opossum that was losing its fur, “You've got to come down here and see how thick it is now!”

(Interestingly, with its hollow fibers, possum fur is among the warmest known and very similar to polar bear fur.)

Vital Choice invited to zoo vets' conference

We were surprised and humbled to receive an invitation to attend the 40th Annual Conference of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) in Los Angeles from October 11 to 17, 2008.

The AAZV's mission is to improve the health care and promote the conservation of captive and free wildlife.

Its international membership includes veterinarians who work in zoo medical practice as well as in labs, pharmaceutical companies, and a wide range of governmental health and wildlife management agencies.

The zoo vets' conference runs from October 11 to 17, and we'll be exhibiting there on 15th and 16th.

If by any chance you're going to be there, please stop by and say hello!


  • Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (PDZA). Beluga whale makes complete recovery at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. April 19, 2007. Accessed online October 4, 2008 at http://www.pdza.org/files/press_releases/  e91bb3c4d7bca960.pdf