The California condor needed her help.

The injured, endangered bird was brought to the Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital in 2021, where veterinarian Marcie Logsdon (’08 Vet. Sci., ’12 DVM) took the lead on a tricky operation.

Profile shot of smiling woman
Marcie Logsdon (Courtesy Viticus Group)

“She had gotten into a little bit of a scuffle with her mate and had a really gnarly fracture on one of her legs,” says Logsdon, a wildlife and exotic animal expert.

The condor successfully healed after the surgery and is now back in a breeding project with a different male. “It’s really satisfying and we’re hoping to see some babies,” Logsdon says.

She has a particular fondness for raptors going back many years, but Logsdon and colleagues at the WSU veterinary hospital see an amazing variety of patients. Parrots, reptiles, ferrets, and hamsters are just some of the exotic pets that she sees. Even Taima, an augur hawk and Seattle Seahawks mascot, visited Logsdon for foot surgery last year.

“If it’s not a dog, cat, livestock, or horse, it’s coming to us,” Logsdon says.

Logsdon, also an associate professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine, has worked with the hospital’s exotics and wildlife since 2014. The hospital also has state and federal permits to treat wildlife, from raccoons to great blue herons.

woman veterinarian uses a stethoscope to listen to the lungs of a kangaroo
WSU veterinarian Marcie Logsdon examines a kangaroo. (Courtesy College of Veterinary Medicine)

“Last year, we saw over 600 wildlife patients,” she says. “And this year we’re set to see probably quite a few more.”

Many of those wild animals are healthy babies brought in by concerned people.

“We definitely get ones that are truly orphaned or injured,” Logsdon says. “But babies in spring and summer are a little less wary of people, while the parents are smart and hiding out of sight.”

It’s free for good Samaritans to bring in wildlife, although the hospital welcomes donations, she notes. The WSU veterinarians also promote a campaign to ask the public to call first about wildlife they find.

Wildlife rehabilitation emphasizes returning the animals to the wild. Logsdon says they see a number of baby great horned owls, for example, and work to place them back in nests with their parents or other great horned owls. “I’m not a great owl mother,” she says.

Logsdon really likes raptors, though, which guided her veterinary career. She grew up around animal care, since her veterinarian mother, Ginny Logsdon (’84 DVM), had a small-animal and house-call practice in the Lewiston, Idaho, and Clarkston area.

“I admit that I was one of those annoying five-year-olds who always knew I wanted to be a vet,” Logsdon says.

As a WSU sophomore, she joined the Raptor Club and served as club president for a couple of years. That experience opened her eyes to another segment of animals that need medical care.

“I discovered that I really enjoyed exotic animal medicine,” she says. Logsdon later externed at raptor centers in Minnesota and North Carolina before returning to Pullman in 2014.

She came full circle as she became advisor to the WSU Raptor Club. She introduced new handling techniques, such as more environmental enrichment and more one-on-one attention for the birds.

Logsdon’s life changed in another way as a club member. It was there she met her future husband, Landon Moore, a University of Idaho wildlife biology student.

The couple now live on 70 acres outside Pullman and share space with some wild guests. The couple run the only deer rehabilitation facility in eastern Washington.

Logsdon and Moore need to be careful with young deer to avoid imprinting. They feed by bottles through the fence, wear camouflage, and avoid touching them. Two surrogate parent deer⁠—one whitetail and one mule deer⁠—help the fawns adjust and prepare to return to the wild.

Teaching duties, caring for wild and exotic animals, advising the Raptor Club, and rehabbing deer keep Logsdon busy. She still has an eye to the future. “We’re in the very early planning stages of a new wildlife facility that would include updated housing for raptors,” she says.

Two fawns in a pen with hay on the floorCourtesy WSU News