One of the unique experiences while attending veterinary school at the University of Illinois is the opportunity to engage with the Wildlife Medical Clinic (WMC). All of the patients presented to the WMC are cared for by approximately 110 dedicated volunteer veterinary students that are grouped into teams to help treat our patients. In addition to our veterinary students, each team has one to two undergraduate volunteers. Just like the veterinary students, these undergraduates take time out of their busy schedules to assist in caring for our multitude of patients. They are integral team members that contribute so much to our clinic.
Meet Onlso, 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.
Check out Dr. Sander, the newest clinician to the Wildlife Medical Clinic, who talks about wildlife winter survival strategies in the newest episode of ciLiving!