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OVC graduate to receive Honorary Doctorate at Spring Convocation

Dr. Mike Cranfield, OVC 1977, is co-director of Gorilla Doctors at the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Centre in Davis, CaliforniaA One Health advocate dedicated to improving the life of wildlife and endangered species and the humans and other species who share their habitats will be recognized with an Honorary Doctorate at spring Convocation. 

A 1977 graduate of the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College, Dr. Mike Cranfield is co-director of Gorilla Doctors at the Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Centre in Davis, California, and project director for the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project. 

Originally from Peterborough, Cranfield followed his DVM studies at OVC with a residency at the Toronto Zoo. He joined the Maryland Zoo in 1982 as Chief Veterinarian and subsequently became Director of Animal Health, Research and Conservation, responsible for the health and care of the Zoo’s more than 1,500 animals. 

In addition to his clinical duties, he pursued research on avian malaria in penguins, parasitic diseases in snakes, in vitro fertilization in lion‐tailed macaques, and captive breeding of endangered frog species. 

In 1998, he became executive director of the world renowned non‐profit Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project dedicated to saving the lives of critically‐endangered mountain gorillas living in Africa. Under Cranfield the project expanded to include health programs for the mountain and Grauer’s gorillas, orphaned gorillas, and for the people working in and living near gorilla habitat. 

In addition to his work with Gorilla Doctors, Cranfield continues his work with The Maryland Zoo and also serves on the faculty at Johns Hopkins University.

Among his many accomplishments he started the first Employee Health Program for employees working in the field close to gorillas and co-developed IMPACT, a data collection, storage and analysis program for health monitoring gorillas. 

In 2012 the Maryland Zoo of Baltimore honoured Cranfield as the recipient of the Michael D. Hankin Award for Conservation in recognition of his dedication to saving the lives of endangered mountain and Grauer’s gorillas in Africa through emergency veterinary medicine.

Cranfield will receive his doctorate June 16 at 4:30 p.m.

The OVC Graduate Student Convocation ceremony will be held Friday, June 16 at 2 p.m. and the DVM Undergraduate Convocation Ceremony will be held at on Friday, June 16 at 4:30 p.m.

The convocation ceremony schedule sorted by College and program is available on the University of Guelph website