When someone gets a new pet, be it a dog, cat, or ferret, one of the most fun aspects is buying new and fun toys for our animal to enjoy! The value of this act goes much deeper than the smile-inducing super cute Instagram-worthy photos they create. These toys are essential for the animal to keep their mind stimulated and its body active while we are away, or very busy videoing their antics. This principle is the same for the patients here at the Wildlife Medical Clinic, particularly for our long-term patients. Enrichment is a very important part of wildlife medicine as the psychological needs of these individuals go hand in hand with their physical needs.
The University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic’s mission prioritizes providing care and treatment to sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals. Through this mission, we have the unique opportunity to offer hands-on training to volunteer veterinary students and to educate members of our community about the wildlife around them. Our volunteers are trained to provide exceptional patient care and to engage with our local community through outreach events. One of the ways we prepare our students for working in the Clinic is through weekly educational rounds presentations. These presentations are delivered by speakers ranging from faculty and researchers to our own students, and cover topics related to conservation and various topics within veterinary medicine. Discussing research topics keeps students aware of what is changing in the field and what approaches or medications they could use in the coming years. By presenting clinical cases, our students can reflect on what they have learned and how they should approach a similar case.
If you have been following the Wildlife Medical Clinic for any period of
time, then you have seen how much we love all of our ambassador
animals, and you have probably fallen in love with them yourself!
These incredible animals help us by serving as liaisons between the wild
and you, highlighting their species adaptations and the conservation
efforts important to their survival. What you may not know is that they
all have very robust and definitive personalities that keep us on our toes
daily. There is never a dull moment working with the ambassadors, so
try your hand at this short quiz to see which of our animals you most
closely resemble! The results may surprise you.