Zoological Diagnostic Pathology Service for zoo and free ranging wildlife

A wide range of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and other species are examined. The service has three main components:

  • personalized service providing accurate and thorough diagnosis of the cause of death and any other conditions present in the animal;
  • storage of specimens and data from the case;
  • use of these for future research projects on wildlife diseases in southern Africa.

Dr Emily Lane has over 20 years of experience in pathology and a life-long commitment to wildlife issues in southern Africa. She trained as a pathologist in Zimbabwe, is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists, and a registered specialist in pathology with the South African Veterinary Council.

The service accepts whole fresh carcasses and tissues (on ice) as well as 10% buffered formalin-fixed samples in leak proof containers. PLEASE DO NOT FREEZE fresh tissues or carcasses as this greatly restricts the amount of useful information that can be obtained from them.

How to submit a sample

  • Before submitting a bird necropsy, please pay a deposit of R2000 in to the following account (National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, ABSA, Acc # 4060145151, Branch code: 632005) and email or fax confirmation of payment to Ms Sonja Rangoolam at +27 12 323 4540.
  • Refunds: Please submit your banking details to Ms Sonja Rangoolam for refunds.
  • Please use the sample form [MSWord format | Adobe PDF format] when submitting a sample, either sending it with the sample or emailing it to Dr Emily Lane.
  • Fresh samples that can be delivered Monday to Thursday may be sent overnight delivery.
  • Delivery address: Dr Emily Lane, Research Building, National Zoological Gardens, 232 Boom St, Pretoria 0001, South Africa. Please note that delivery to the Zoo’s postal box is unreliable, even when using Speed Courier services with a tracking number. Please only use the street address for delivery by courier.
  • Contact details: Tel: +27 12 328 3265 x106/230 or +27 12 339 2706 Fax: + 27 86 680 5093.
  • The service can accept samples 24/7 and has refrigeration facilities at the security gate for samples delivered out of hours. Contact Dr Lane to notify her of delivery of the sample on +27 72 297 6571.

Molecular Diagnostics laboratory

The NZG has a state of the art, fully equipped molecular genetics laboratory and render the following services for the conservation community and includes:

  • DNA profiling of wildlife
  • Parentage verification of wildlife
  • Establishment and maintenance of National Genetic Databases
  • Avian & reptilian sexing
  • Screening for chytrid fungus for amphibians

Wildlife Disease Information

Price list

Download and view the 2017 price list.



Did you know that most impala are born around mid-day? This is the safest time for impala to give birth since most of their enemies are resting