Larisa Gokool

Blogger Profile: Larisa Gokool

Larisa Gokool has been the lab coordinator and pathology technician for San Diego Zoo Global’s Desert Tortoise Conservation Center (DTCC) since applying on a whim in 2010. Her main duties consist of performing necropsies (animal autopsy) to aid the Zoo’s pathologist in determining the cause of illness and death of the tortoises living at the Center, managing the frozen biological samples collection, and running on-site safety meetings. She periodically travels to the Wildlife Disease Labs at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research to assist in performing molecular diagnostics on samples collected during necropsy. Larisa never dreamed she would one day live in the desert but is very proud to have made the move from the East Coast to contribute to the recovery of a threatened species.
It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Gopherus Species!

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Gopherus Species!

Though there is much literature describing the different characteristics of the Gopherus genus, it can still be tricky to distinguish what you are looking at when they are right in front of you…   read more

Do Tortoises Wear Shower Caps?

Do Tortoises Wear Shower Caps?

I would like to share her poem in this forum for tortoise fans to read because it is both highly entertaining and accurate!   read more

Bacteria, Viruses, and Disease, Oh My!

Bacteria, Viruses, and Disease, Oh My!

It’s always very interesting for me to go to the Wildlife Disease Labs, because I get to see the process of determining a tortoise’s health status on the molecular level from start to finish.   read more

Desert Tortoise CSI

Desert Tortoise CSI

If and when a tortoise is found dead on site, or needs to be humanely euthanized due to a debilitating illness or severe injury, it is immediately brought to the pathology trailer for necropsy.   read more

Feeding Frenzy

Feeding Frenzy

They see you before you even know they’re there, waiting, watching.   read more