Thursday, August 2, 2012

Reflections from our Departing Italian Intern

Hi everybody! My name is Sara and I am one of three South Carolina Aquarium's Sea Turtle Rescue Program interns this summer. I'm from Italy and I've decided to come here because I love sea turtles and I am so lucky because my application was accepted. I'm leaving America at the end of July so I would like to share some thoughts with you.

Sara holds our wild diamondback terrapin, Stumpy, while her amputated front limb is flushed.
Seing these animals everyday makes me very happy, and to have the opportunity to work with them makes me even happier! Now there are 9 turtles in the hospital, and it's very hard to say which one I prefer because, after I have spent almost 2 months with them, I can say that every one has a peculiar characteristic, something that makes him special.

Gumby makes me laugh as he loves to bite everything!
As interns, we have many different responsibilities around the hospital. We must ensure that the hospital is as clean and tidy as possible, we feed the turtles, do treatments, etc. Something new often happens that changes all the schedules and teaches me something, and I promise you that I'm never bored!
Our veterinarian taught Sara how to draw blood on Charlie, our largest loggerhead turtle.
One of the nicest things is the coming in of a new turtle. It may happen anytime, and when I get the call I start thinking ”How big will she be? What species? I hope she's well.” Unfortunately since I've been here I’ve seen some turtles that were not very well. Some have died after they came in and when it happens it's very sad, and I feel helpless. But it's a great feeling when I get to help a new turtle, and to watch them recover.

Sara (in blue shirt) helped flush George's head wound when he was admitted last Friday.
Also, I saw a lot of happy cases! There are new turtles like Pier, Charlie, Bulls Bay, and Hook, and they are all getting better! It's very interesting to observe the healing process - the first few days are crucial, the turtles may not feel like eating, but now Bulls eats a lot and Charlie has delicious taste - he eats only crabs!
Charlie is a picky eater! He eats only blue crabs for breakfast.
In conclusion, although these animals aren't like pets, they are giving me a lot of satisfaction! The only thing that I'm not yet able to do is teaching them to speaking Italian...but I'm working on it!

Sara Gori
STRP Intern