January 23, 2018
Seneca Park Zoo is delighted to welcome Dr. Louis DiVincenti, D.V.M., M.S. as the Zoo’s Director of Animal Health and Conservation, as of January 1, 2018. Dr. DiVincenti is no stranger to Seneca Park Zoo, our staff, or the animals in our care. In 2006, he served as the Aab Pre-Veterinary Fellow at the Zoo, a paid research and clinical fellowship at the Zoo for pre-vet college students.
Dr. Jeff Wyatt has served in this role in a part-time capacity for 35 years. Zoo Director Larry Sorel and Dr. Wyatt together decided that based on the growing complexity of the animal collection, as well as the overall growth and trajectory of the Zoo, it was time for a full-time veterinarian.
“Once we decided to have a full-time vet, Dr. DiVincenti was the obvious, perfect, choice,” commented Larry Sorel. “To have an Aab Pre-Vet Fellow, who’s been a resident working with Dr. Wyatt, gives us confidence in his capability and how well he will fit in the culture of the Zoo team. We have seen him grow over the past decade, as a vet, as a manager, and in engaging the public. We are pleased and excited to have him on staff full-time.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to take on this role,” Dr. DiVincenti commented, “I have always wanted to be a zoo vet, and Seneca Park Zoo is the perfect size and culture to enable me to work closely with zoo keepers not only when animals are sick, but also on a day-to-day basis to improve animal welfare through our enrichment and training program.”
Originally from Louisiana, Dr. DiVincenti volunteered and worked at Audubon Zoo in New Orleans before pursuing his Veterinary degree. He graduated from the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. After completing a residency in comparative medicine at University of Rochester, where he worked with Dr. Wyatt, he was appointed to the faculty there. More recently, he was board certified by the American College of Animal Welfare, and is the only veterinarian in New York State with a specialty in animal welfare.
“It’s amazing how much has changed even in the 10 years since I was a fellow here,” DiVincenti commented, “Not only in the focus on the welfare of the animals in our care but also in the role of zoos in our communities and in conservation. The experiences our visitors have seeing our animal ambassadors here at the Zoo can have a long-lasting impact on the choices they make, which hopefully translates into saving species and habitat. That’s the reason we are here.”
Dr. Wyatt will continue to be part of the Zoo family, consulting in both veterinary medicine and conservation partnerships as needed. He’ll also still be involved with the Associate of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Health in Harmony, and other projects in addition to his ongoing role as Professor and Chair, Comparative Medicine at the University of Rochester.
Look forward to seeing Dr. DiVincenti on grounds at the Zoo at your next visit, and be sure to give him a warm welcome.