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25 - Life Beneath the Dome
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25 - Life Beneath the Dome

Episode Summary

At Montreal’s Biodôme, veterinarian Emiko Wong shares her days with hundreds of species of exotic and indigenous animals. With her we discover the life that thrives beneath the dome and behind the scenes of this fascinating microcosm.


Emiko Wong is a young woman who’s had a passion for animals since early childhood. To live her passion, she chose to become a veterinarian. She then landed her dream job as a veterinarian at the Montréal Biodôme. Her day-to-day work is filled with challenges. She looks after a great diversity of animals, with each species linked to its native ecosystem. Emiko learns an enormous amount through experience and observation, since each species reacts differently to her care. Patience and respect are essential, and difficult times often translate into valuable discoveries.

What this young veterinarian loves about her job is that no two days are alike. In May, the birthing season begins. Then follows the annual check-up of each species, including penguins, sloths, monkeys and skates. Even the enormous yellow anaconda doesn’t escape check-up! In summer, she goes up Mount Royal to vaccinate raccoons against rabies.

The dedicated team she works with forms a close-knit group of people who pursue a common goal: maintain the health of the animals and their habitat. All the links in the ecosystem are important, since the animals depend on plants, trees, insects and their prey. For Emiko Wong and the Biodôme’s team, it’s vital that the animals have the impression that they’re at home, even if they’re living in captivity. Under Emiko’s care, all means are used to help them recreate their world and exhibit normal behaviour, avoiding stereotypical behaviour and psychological stress.

The Biodôme participates in several international conservation projects for species such as the golden lion tamarin, a small monkey with reddish fur native to the Brazilian forests. After 15 years of painstaking effort, this species of tamarin has recently begun to breed in captivity, excellent news, since the offspring of these monkeys can eventually be reintroduced into the wild.

For Emiko Wong, it’s on these unique occasions that her dedicated work takes on its full meaning. As we share her life’s work with you, we go behind the scenes to discover a fascinating microcosm, where each species is a part of its own ecosystem. More than ever, as we watch life thriving at the Biodôme, we understand that in nature, everything is interconnected.

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Emiko Wong
A love of wildlife led Emiko Wong to care for a wide range of animal species.
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