Every year the Wildlife Medical Clinic receives several patients suffering because of fishing gear that has been left behind, like this barred owl who was found badly tangled and hanging by one wing from fishing line stuck in a tree. … Continue reading →
At the beginning of each school year, applications open for undergraduate and veterinary students to become care team members for our patients. We are so excited about the large turnout we received this year! Almost 120 veterinary medicine and undergraduate students attended our first lunchtime rounds, and have since been divided into six teams. Each team is led by three 2nd or 3rd -year Team Leaders who are responsible for coming up with treatment plans for new patients and catching new members up to speed with the way things are done in the clinic. For our 40th anniversary as a clinic, we could not have hoped for a better group!
Even some of the resident animals were able to stop by!
From left to right: Allison holding Thistle the American kestrel, Ally holding Odin the red-tailed hawk, Jess holding Hazel the box turtle and Alexis holding Derby the eastern screech owl! They made an appearance to educate new wildlife clinic volunteers about the resident animal program and encourage new members to join in their care and outreach! Learn more about them here: https://vetmed.illinois.edu/wildlife/residents/educational-and-pr-visits/
Student Conservation Spotlight: Kathleen Rafferty and her last straw
Kathleen attending to an injured osprey in the Wildlife Medical Clinic
At the beginning of this year, after learning that Americans use 500 million straws per day, Kathleen and a few friends made the decision to be environmentally conscious and reduce their plastic consumption by avoiding single-use plastic straws and switching to reusable stainless-steel straws. As it turned out, interest among her peers was high, and Kathleen distributed about 60 SS straws. With the average person using 1.6 straws per day, that equals over 35,000 straws saved per year or 81 pounds of plastic per year.
After seeing first-hand the effects of excessive plastic use while scuba diving in Florida, Kathleen became interested in conservation at a young age. She found Inspiration in the documentary Sharkwater by the late filmmaker and shark conservationist Rob Stewart where she learned that humans are responsible for the destruction of 99% of some shark species populations. Kathleen plans to use her DVM to contribute to the One Health initiative and wildlife conservation. “Which may include learning more about the harmful effects of plastic and human affiliated toxins in the environment,” says Kathleen, “At the end of the day, pollution not only negatively impacts our wildlife, but our human health as well.” –Know a student who incorporates conservation into their everyday lives? Let us know who they are, and they could be in our Student Conservation Spotlight.