Field anesthesia is often necessary for both invasive and noninvasive procedures on wild animals. We describe basic principles of safe anesthetic delivery, monitoring, and recovery for application in procedures involving free-ranging wildlife. For invasive procedures, the potential for immediate and lasting pain must be addressed and appropriate analgesia provided. In situations where the minimum standard of safe anesthesia and effective analgesia cannot be provided, the investigator and approving bodies should rigorously evaluate the risk to the patient against the value of the data obtained. This document is intended to serve as a resource for Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees, biologists, veterinarians, and other researchers planning projects that involve free-ranging wildlife in field conditions.
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Vol. 52 • No. 2s