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San Antonio Zoo's Dr. Rob L. Coke named finalist for 'Hero Veterinarian' award

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As well as providing care for the San Antonio Zoo's own Komodo dragon, Bubba, Dr. Coke (left) also aids other zoos with Komodo dragon medical consulting. - COURTESY OF SAN ANTONIO ZOO
  • Courtesy of San Antonio Zoo
  • As well as providing care for the San Antonio Zoo's own Komodo dragon, Bubba, Dr. Coke (left) also aids other zoos with Komodo dragon medical consulting.
Dr. Rob L. Coke, the San Antonio Zoo's Director of Veterinary Care, has recently been named a finalist for a prestigious national award.

Dr. Coke has been nominated for the 2021 Hero Veterinarian Award, which is presented annually by American Humane to honor one veterinarian's outstanding achievements in animal care.

"It is such a great honor to be nominated, being selected as a finalist, and getting to show the nation all that we do here at San Antonio Zoo for the animals in our care," Dr. Coke said in a release. "I hope to inspire others to view zoos and the conservation work that they do as paramount to cultivating a future for all animals for the generations to come."

Dr. Coke has been working with the San Antonio Zoo since 2002, and has done much to care for its inhabitants. His recent achievements include leading his 18-person team of animal care professionals through the COVID-19 pandemic, leading research and conservation efforts for Komodo dragons and ensuring the San Antonio Zoo's animals were safe and warm during the devastating February freeze. He is also a personal hero to San Antonio zoo's own Komodo dragon, Bubba, who suffers from a degenerative joint disease, but has been gradually improving after months of innovative new therapies.

"We are extremely proud of Dr. Rob and all his accomplishments," Zoo President and CEO Tim Morrow said in a statement. "He has been a staple of San Antonio Zoo for almost two decades, and his knowledge and positive attitude have benefited not only our animals but countless vet staff and animal care specialists alike."

The San Antonio Zoo is asking the public to show their support for Dr. Coke by voting for him once per day at Hero Vet Awards website. The voting period ends on July 29, at which point votes will be tallied and a winner will be chosen. If selected as a winner, Coke will be honored on the 2021 American Humane Hero Dog Awards on the Hallmark Channel.

"Rob is a giant in zoo veterinary medicine and very deserving of this prestigious award," Morrow added. "I ask our community to take a moment, vote, and encourage their friends and family to do the same. Let’s bring home a ‘W’ for our local hero!"

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