As students prepare for the second half of this spring semester, the Wildlife Medical Clinic is undergoing some big personnel changes. Third year students are moving onto their 4th (and final) year of the veterinary medicine curriculum and will no longer be volunteering at the WMC. One of these students is our senior Student Manager, Erica Bender. She’s mentored hundreds of students over her two years managing every aspect of the clinic’s operations. Over the next year, she will be completing several externships to hone her skills as a veterinarian. We interviewed Erica about her time at the WMC and learned about what the future has in store for her!
Erica has worked with large and small patients! This is one of the larger patients she’s worked with – a snapping turtle!
On behalf of the clinic’s students all the patients you’ve helped over the years, THANK YOU ERICA!
Where are you from?
I’m from the San Francisco Bay area in California.
Where did you go to undergrad?
I studied Biological Anthropology at UC San Diego. I like to joke that my major was mostly monkeys.
What initially sparked your interest in wildlife medicine? Continue reading
This past week our beloved ambassador, Delphine, was humanely euthanized due to her declining health. Our Wildlife Medical Clinic community is deeply saddened with the loss and we appreciate all of the kind words and support during this difficult time. Delphine was beloved by her caretakers, volunteers, community members, and social media followers. Delphine lived a wonderful life at WMC, where she enjoyed delicious food, comfy beds, lots of interactive enrichment, and endless love and attention from her caretakers over her three and a half years with us. Although Delphine’s life has come to an end, her legacy and impact on wildlife education will carry on.
Del was brought into WMC in 2017 after being found orphaned and subsequently hand-reared by a well-meaning member of the public. Due to her habituation to humans, she was deemed non-releasable. Luckily, Delphine’s friendly demeanor made her a perfect candidate to join the ambassador animals at WMC, representing our only mammal in the collection during her tenure. The name Delphine was inspired after the scientific name for opossum, Didelphis virginiana. Delphine, or “Del” served as an ambassador for her species, the only native North American marsupial. Although well intentioned, Del was an example of why orphaned wildlife should only be cared for by licensed wildlife rehabilitators, where they have the best chance of being released back into the wild. Continue reading
While we tend to stay home and avoid the cold, wildlife have developed their own ways to spend the winter. Many birds migrate, traveling to warmer areas with plentiful food and shelter. Some wildlife may find a safe place to enter a sleep like state that helps them conserve energy during a time when food is scarce. This process can be torpor, true hibernation, or brumation, with each process characterized by differing levels of activity and lowered metabolism. Mammals, reptiles, and even birds can change their metabolism and activity as a strategy against the cold. In other cases, animals must eat what’s available in the given season. For example, even though lush prairies aren’t available in the winter, deer can still munch on twigs and grasses. Now that you’re familiar with these three ways animals cope with the cold, unscramble the names of animals that utilize each strategy! Continue reading