| Spelman's Response to Nichols's Letter to the National Academy of Sciences |
"Animal care at the National Zoo is a team effort among keepers and curators, veterinary staff and pathology staff. In order to ensure quality care for the animals, there must be a constant flow of information and communication between the staffs.
"The Zoo animal care team is composed of the Zoo staff, plus more than 20 medical experts, including oncologists, ophthalmologists and cardiologists. Our group of talented professionals treats 400 to 700 sick animals every year.
"Dr. Nichols's perspective is based on his interpretation of records he did not create, situations in which he did not participate, and areas in which he had no expertise. As a pathologist, he studied animals after they died, and determined the cause of death.
"I am confident the National Academy of Sciences will conduct its study of the Zoo from an unbiased, scientific perspective. I look forward to receiving the Academy's recommendations about how to improve our care of the animals at the National Zoo."
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