A Day in the Life of A Turtle Vet
Sep, 18 2019
Dr. Jackie Reed is the latest veterinarian from the Olive Ridley Project to take up residence at the Marine Turtle Rescue Centre at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu.
Dr. Jackie is a wildlife veterinarian from Melbourne, Australia, who has lived all over Australia and in different parts of the world. She graduated from Murdoch University in 2010 and worked as a small animal veterinarian before securing her first wildlife job with the RSPCA. Since then, she has worked for zoo and wildlife organizations for over 6 years and continues to volunteer her time to treat and rehabilitate many endangered species.
She has recently travelled to Africa to treat rhinos, Asia to treat pangolins, and now she has taken a position with the Olive Ridley Project to focus on sea turtle conservation, treatment, and rehabilitation.
Dr Jackie is determined to continue to travel to where she can make a difference, helping endangered animals around the world.
Dr Jackie let us tag along one day so that we could get an idea of what it’s like to be a turtle veterinarian on the island
8.30am – Breakfast
9.30am – Open the Centre, followed by morning rounds checking up on the turtle patients and giving medication.
We also start draining a tank to clean during the day. We clean one of the seven tanks at the centre every day.
10.30am - Turtle feeding time! During the feeding, I interact with the guests and give a talk about our turtles and the issues they’re facing
11am – Turtle treatments in the vet clinic if any are scheduled. Treatments could include surgery, wound care, taking x-rays, drawing blood, or doing an ultrasound.
Our volunteers help me to clean and refill the tank.
1pm – Lunch break
2pm- After lunch, we make bracelets out of recovered ghost gear to sell for donations and we do some general cleaning.
I also do administration and finance work in the afternoon.
4pm - Feeding time again!
5pm – One last check up on the turtles before closing up the Centre for the day.