Goodbye and Good luck!

Each July brings a bittersweet transition to the Wildlife Medical Clinic, as we say goodbye to our ZooMed house officers. While the WMC is staffed by volunteer veterinary and undergraduate students, this care is supported by the veterinarians in the ZooMed Service of the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital. This includes the three ZooMed house officers, each a veterinarian in their own right, who have elected additional training in pursuit of becoming specialists in the American College of Zoological Medicine. Our skilled house officers include one intern and two resident veterinarians. These veterinarians assist our students in all aspects of animal care – from demonstrating safe ways to hold an animal, developing appropriate diet plans, discussing patient concerns and care, and pursuing treatments, our house officers are available every step of the way. More than providing medical care, these doctors demonstrate patience, empathy, and perseverance. They help set the energy in the WMC and form incredible bonds with our students each year. We are so incredibly grateful for all of the hard work, passion, and care these veterinarians have contributed to our program and wish them each the greatness they deserve as they move on to their next opportunities.

Dr. Kelsey Trumpp was our ZooMed specialty intern from 2020-2021. She took on this challenge with gusto and an ever-present smile on her face. In addition to caring for more than 1,200 wildlife patients during her internship, Dr. Trumpp was the primary author of two research projects and assisted in the training of veterinary students throughout the curriculum. Dr. Trumpp was a phenomenal asset to our team and we are so excited for her next opportunity at the University of Georgia, where she will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Comparative Biomedical Sciences (zoological medicine) concurrent with a four year residency program in Zoological Medicine.

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Keeping Wildlife in Mind This Independence Day

By Samantha Sander, DVM, Dipl ACZM

As the Fourth of July draws closer, many communities are actively preparing for their annual festivities. Patriotic fanfare coupled with the shimmering lights and booming explosions of fireworks are honored traditions often synonymous with Independence Day celebrations. Unfortunately, these celebrations can be quite harmful to local wildlife.

Fireworks in particular can be hazardous, startling any number of species to display abnormal behaviors and movements. Wildlife have been documented fleeing into public spaces and across roadways, flying into buildings or other obstacles, and abandoning nests as well as their young. This extreme flight response can cause injury and death, increased exposure of young to predators, and a stress response so severe it can cause death to the animal. Fireworks and firecrackers have also been blamed as a source of litter, which can be a choking hazard and toxic if ingested, as well as starting wildfires, which can cause extreme habitat destruction in some cases. These extreme responses aren’t unique to wildlife – fireworks celebrations have triggered PTSD episodes in people, overwhelmed individuals with sensory sensitivities, and are associated with a marked increase in runaway pets each year. Continue reading