While working at Mountainaire Avian Rescue, I gained a large amount of knowledge in regards to small-scale wildlife rehabilitation. This new knowledge ranges greatly from basic skills to more medically based abilities that I will be able to use later in my future career. The basic skills that I acquired include animal handling, properly setting up cages for each individual animal’s preferred living arrangement that would best suit their needs, and reducing the stress patients undergo during the rehabilitation process. When it came to the medical side of wildlife care, there was a larger quantity to learn. The skills I gained included determining proper dosages of medication for not only avian species but some mammal species as well, the ability to determine medication based on the incident the animal undergone, different types of medication used, and proper care and medical assistance for physical injuries.
One of the more intense aspects that I gained from my time at MARS was a greater understanding of the difficulty caring for wildlife entails. Even though we may go through a drastic effort to make sure that each animal receives the best care we can provide, at times there is always some injury we cannot predict that would make all of our efforts mute. The difficulty that arises from wildlife care in regards to the ability to keep animals that are so highly prone to stress and other unseen injuries that lead to their death is something that can make wanting to continue difficult. However, working at MARS helps one to realize that this is all-be-it sad, a common aspect when it comes to caring for wildlife. It aids in understanding that what we do may not seem to have a drastic effect on the overall population or even aid the single individual that comes in but in the end it gives us the understanding that we tried.
The best memories I will have of MARS will contain not only the people I worked with but also the times in which animals that I, as well as the others, cared for were released back into the wild. I am glad that I got the opportunity to come to British Columbia and work at MARS so that I could expand my knowledge in the realm of wildlife rehabilitation outside of the University of Minnesota and be able to see a new and beautiful place. I believe the things I have learned during my time at MARS will be used in my future career, whether that is in rehabilitation or wildlife management.