Last weekend Mike, Emily, and I introduced about 20 UCD undergraduates to the world of oiled wildlife care. The pre-veterinary club asked us to speak to their members and instruct a wet lab. We had first-years, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, and everything from animal science to anthropology majors join us for an evening lecture and a Saturday morning lab.
After demonstrating some physical exam and oil spill processing techniques on a live duck volunteer (a very accommodating one, I might add — she was perfectly poised despite being the center of attention), the students broke into groups and practiced their new skills on bird carcasses. Despite the beautiful weather outside, the students were completely focused on learning and were very enthusiastic. Although the students were a bit shy to handle the carcasses at first, after about 2 minutes they forgot their squeamishness and dove right in!
This weekend Emily and I are in Santa Cruz giving a tour of the Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and Research Center and a presentation to sea otter volunteers. These are dedicated volunteers who work with stranded sea otters, so they would be really key people to help during an oil spill affecting sea otters.
We’re glad so many dedicated people are willing to give up some of their weekend to help wildlife. Thank you . . . . and enjoy the rest of the this gorgeous weekend!