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|January 14, 2013 - Josh Davis|
My last day at SANCCOB was a half day since my flight home was later that evening. The morning was still as busy as ever, but this morning Nicki took some time at the 8 a.m. meeting to thank me on behalf of SANCCOB for coming to help them out. They even gave me a SANCCOB t-shirt.
Right after the meeting I found out I was going to get to help Nicki, Nola and Marguerite get blood samples from the chicks in pen two in order to make sure they're staying nice and healthy. It was a really cool experience to learn how they hold their penguins in order to safely draw blood and I enjoyed learning new things even in my last hours with them. When that was done I fed the kelp gulls that I was assigned to and cleaned their pens. Then I was done.
I took a few moments to think back on all that I had learned and had been able to do in my time in South Africa. I thought about all of the birds I'd helped take care of and the ones I helped release and I was so proud to have been a part of their rehabilitation. Not only that, but I could now go home to Mystic Aquarium and tell guests firsthand what we can do to help save the African penguin. It's hard to describe what I was feeling, but I think inspired would be a good way to put it.
I can't thank everyone at SANCCOB enough for everything they did for me during my visit. I'm so proud to have been a part of such a wonderful group of people and I'm so happy to have made so many new friends! I'm looking forward to keeping in touch with everyone and hopefully someday I see them all again. Until then however, I know of 26 African penguins that I will be very happy to see when I get back to Mystic!
Skittish African Penguins cross a road on Robben Island in South Africa.
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