Meet Onslo, our resident northern blue-tongued skink (Tiliqua scincoides intermedia)! Blue tongued-skinks have a long, flat body with short limbs and are native to Australia. Their unique blue tongue is an adaptation to avoid predation. When threatened, a blue-tongued skink will flash its bright blue tongue, deterring predators because the color is associated with poisonous animals. Blue-tongued skinks, however, are not poisonous. They are found in forests and are omnivores, eating fruits, vegetables and insects.
In 2018, the Wildlife Medical Clinic welcomed Delphine, a female Virginia opossum. She was initially brought to the Wildlife Medical Clinic after a well-intentioned member of the public attempted to rehabilitate her. Unfortunately, this led to Delphine becoming too habituated to humans for her reintroduction to the wild. Additionally, some abnormalities in Delphine’s gait were of concern. Upon further testing, and it was determined Delphine required a Femoral Head Ostectomy (FHO) due to suspected past trauma to her hip. This surgical procedure removes the head (top portion) of the femur to relieve pain and increase patient mobility when severe disease or trauma has occurred previously. On the bright side, Delphine’s calm demeanor and overall good health meant she was a good candidate for the Wildlife Ambassador program! Her FHO surgery went well and, after a little bit of physical therapy, Delphine is now happily working with our other amazing ambassador animals!
Delphine is one of the first mammals to join our Wildlife Ambassador Program. Since her joining, Delphine has been working with numerous veterinary student volunteers to adjust to her new lifestyle. One of her trainers is Allison Wright, a second-year veterinary student. We sat down with Ally to ask her a few questions about Delphine.
This week on ciLiving, Dr. Reich brought spoke about the different strategies that animals take to ride out the long, cold winters experienced in Illinois and elsewhere!