Enrichment for Wildlife Patients

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.

Delphine, our lovable ambassador opossum, explores a cardboard tube stuffed with snacks!

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Snapping Turtle Rounds

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.

Summer veterinary student intern Tina with one of the many white-tailed deer fawns that presented to our clinic this summer!

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