By Raetta Holdman

DENVER (CBS4) – In the coming days, visitors to the Denver Zoo will be able to see how sick and injured animals are treated. Gov. Jared Polis and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock joined zoo officials for the grand opening of the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Animal Hospital Friday morning.

(credit: Denver Zoo)

It’s a 22,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility. The veterinary team has actually been using it, without public visitation, since the fall.

Dr. Scott Larsen, the zoo’s Vice President of Animal Health, says it’s about keeping a commitment to the animals.

“We’re passionate about providing these animals with the best, healthiest lives that we can,” he said. “We are humbled and so grateful that so many join us in that belief in how we take care of these animals and our stewardship.”

(credit: Denver Zoo)

The new hospital has two fully equipped treatment rooms, a diagnostic lab, even a surgery suite. It can accommodate animals from a tiny tree frog to a full-grown grizzly bear.

“…onsite CT scanner, state of the art equipment, multiple treatment rooms, premier surgery suite and lab, fantastic indoor and outdoor housing areas when they need to be hospitalized, and we get to share all of that with our guests and the community,” said Larsen.

The animal hospital was funded by a bond program passed by Denver voters more than three years ago.

Raetta Holdman