Alligator patient diagnosed with ear infection

Brooke, a 376-pound, very popular resident of St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park for nearly 20 years, came to the UF Veterinary Hospitals on July 25 for a thorough work-up to evaluate the possible cause of unusual behavior it has been exhibiting in the lagoon where he lives.

According to the park’s reptile curator, Jim Darlington, Brooke — named for the Brookfield Zoo, where he came from originally — has displayed intermittent head-rolling in the lagoon where he lives. While Brooke was at UF, Dr. Bridget Walker, a UF zoological medicine resident, performed a blood draw to obtain a sample for analysis. Brooke then received X-rays of his lungs, along with a CT scan of his head during his stay here. The X-rays were needed in addition to CT images because Brooke was too large to perform a complete CT scan of his body.

Our zoological medicine service team determined that Brooke had an ear infection and he returned home to the Alligator Farm later that day.