Two of my days at the Aquarium were spent with the Animal Health Department and the Turtle Rehab Facility in Quincy. Both of these departments focused on the medical and veterinary aspects of animal care.
During my time with the Animal Health Department, I assisted with the examination of four large anacondas. As part of scheduled check-ups, we drew blood samples and monitored the animals’ heart rates using ultrasound technology. We also performed oral exams and an overall visual inspection. Under a gentle anesthetic, the animals were rather easy to work with. I also helped with necropsy evaluations of an american lobster and two smaller fish, We also provided care for a two fish taken out of the GOT – an ocean surgeonfish and a burrfish. It was interesting seeing the care of the GOT fish from two separate angles: husbandry and animal health.
At the Turtle Rehab Facility, we only had three turtles in our care, since we are now at the tail end of the rehabilitation season. That being said, there was still much to be done. We conducted medical exams of all three turtles in the morning and spent the afternoon feeding and cleaning their enclosure. During the medical exams, we treated the animals for various conditions. These treatments consisted primarily of subcutaneous injections and the application of topical ointments. Prior to this experience, I had never worked so closely with turtles, so this was a truly fascinating opportunity.