As I drive back up the coast, catching quick glimpses of the beautiful Monterey Bay, I feel extremely appreciative of the opportunities I’ve had during the past two weeks. Not only have I gotten to work with a collection of cool species, but I have also met and worked with an assortment of amazing people.
Last week, I had the great pleasure of spending some time at our nearest member organization, International Bird Rescue, at the San Francisco Bay Oiled Wildlife Care and Education Center (SFBOWCEC). There, I met several staff members and volunteers, and got to put my bird handling skills to use. I assisted with exams on pelicans, murres, gulls, and a great blue heron, among others, as well as helped with feeds and learned the general flow of the hospital. It was wonderful to work with and get to know such a talented and dedicated group of people.
This week, at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA), I had the good fortune of working with MBA veterinary staff and volunteers, along with a variety of veterinarians, technicians, researchers, staff, and volunteers from other institutions, including The Marine Mammal Center, US Fish and Wildlife, the Seattle Aquarium, and Long Beach Aquarium. We all came to learn sea otter restraint, anesthesia, and sampling techniques. It was incredible to learn from experts in the field and to work with so many organizations in the process.
The collaboration and generosity demonstrated by these institutions is truly inspiring and at the same time absolutely essential to helping these species that we all care so much about. And this is exactly what the Oiled Wildlife Care Network is all about- sharing knowledge among members and working together to improve our ability to care for animals both before and during spills!
Performing an ultrasound examination of a rehabilitating sea otter to check for pregnancy (especially intriguing for me as I am 8.5 months pregnant myself!)