Costa Rica Veterinary Experience — Thursday, July 11, 2019

Being Taught with Toucanets

Pura vida! This is Emma, and I was the leader of the day today. Being the leader of the day was pretty fun, as I got to take on a leadership role within the program and had opportunities to create activities for us to enjoy.

To start the day, the group settled into the bus to drive back to the animal rescue center. After breakfast, we sat down as a group to watch a presentation about some of the animals at the center and how they came to need help.

Next, we split into two groups to learn more about the animal rescue center. The first group started by learning about sutures and how they can help close a wound. We got to practice various stitches used in surgeries with real medical tools. The second group went to tour the clinic and rehabilitation site within the animal rescue center and learned about how animals are released. The rehabilitation site included a special area just for sloths, and we were able to walk directly under a sloth!

After lunch, we were able to observe and take part in a toucanet necropsy. We learned a lot about the anatomy of this bird and others like it, as we were able to see it extremely up close. One moment of this necropsy that stood out to me was when we were able to look inside the toucanet’s beak, as it had been broken during a car collision. The beak was unlike anything I had previously seen, and being able to hold it up close to study it was an amazing opportunity. We finished the day learning about how to tranquilize animals with darts and practiced our new skills on a stuffed monkey! At night, we were able to enjoy the beautiful sunset on the beach.

Today was filled with cool experiences, laughter, and learning, and I’m so excited for what the rest of the trip holds. Helping at an animal rescue is a super unique and fun opportunity, and I know everyone on the trip is truly inspired by what we’ve seen. Come back tomorrow to learn more about our time here in Costa Rica!

Emma