Rachel Foster

Blogger Profile: Rachel Foster

Rachel Foster is the veterinary technician and processing manager at the Desert Tortoise Conservation Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is responsible for assisting with all medical needs under the supervision of San Diego Zoo Global veterinarians. In addition to her medical duties, she is responsible for managing the processing procedures for incoming tortoises, training new employees in health assessment, and collecting biological samples from the tortoises. Rachel came to San Diego Zoo Global from Auburn University in Alabama, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in wildlife science and her master’s degree in biology, with a focus in conservation. In addition to 20 years of experience as a veterinary technician, she has 10 years of experience in research working on various projects involving threatened and endangered reptiles, amphibians, and plants. When Rachel is not at work she enjoys hiking with her two dogs and watching college football.
A Portable X-ray Machine for Tortoises

A Portable X-ray Machine for Tortoises

We were very excited this spring when our field research team was given a grant that allowed us to purchase our own portable x-ray machine! This was to be used by the field crew and our medical staff to take x-rays on site and in the field.   read more

Tortoise: ‘Tis the Season for Hibernation

Tortoise: ‘Tis the Season for Hibernation

At this point, any tortoise found outside of their burrow is cause for concern. When we find tortoises out in cool weather, we bring them in for a complete health assessment.   read more

Saving Tortoises, One Urolith at a Time

Saving Tortoises, One Urolith at a Time

Once we have x-ray confirmation that it’s a urolith, we send the tortoise to the hospital, where veterinarian Nadine Lamberski has developed a less invasive technique to remove the stone.   read more

Desert Tortoise Hibernation: Not for All

Desert Tortoise Hibernation: Not for All

As our second season ends here at the San Diego Zoo’s Desert Tortoise Conservation Center in Las Vegas, the tortoises have gone deep into their burrows for brumation (winter hibernation). For the most part, this means we get to take a bit of a breather as well.   read more

Tortoises Need Heat and Light

Tortoises Need Heat and Light

Since the entire shell of a tortoise is made up of bone and keratin, it is very important to feed them foods high in calcium to maintain the shell’s rigidity.   read more