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|December 2 - Laurie Macha|
|I started my work day at 7:30am. I was assigned to ICU and Candice was my supervisor. My assignment was the “baldie” pen. There were about 20 chicks that had lost their juvenile plumage and were bald. They looked like plucked chickens. They couldn't stay outside because they were at risk of overheating and hypothermia. When you pick them up their skin is so hot. I felt really bad for them. However, aside from being bald, they are in great shape and eating pretty well. I named that pen the “terror dactyl” pen. When I was feeding fish they were like little prehistoric looking things with their beaks snapping and all trying to get fish at once. It was a pretty hectic schedule in ICU. We tubed formula at 7:30, darrows at 8:30, fish at 10:30, water at 12:30, fish at 2:00, darrows at 4:00 and formula at 5:00. Wow, a very hectic schedule. In addition to all of that, many of the birds were on medications and several were on a nebulizer three times a day. All of the pens were indoors attached to Dr. Nola's office/lab. It made cleaning it a bit challenging. In between working with the birds in ICU, we got 13 more new admissions. I was also helping with the aviary, just cleaning. I've never worked with flighted birds. We got a Cape Gannet in as well – they scare me! This bird was rather lethargic and was loaded with fleas and lice. When you try to grab them they snapped their beaks really hard! All you hear is this big clack clack. Candice was nice to me and admitted the bird while I wrote everything down. There were so many little sick ones in Candice's pen. One in particular didn't look too good. I'm not sure it will make it through the night. I'll keep my fingers crossed, but it is very unlikely. Working in ICU really brings it all home. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can't change some of the outcomes. But, all that is being done is worth the effort. I sign off with a heavy heart and with a fun memory of the new “terror dactyl” pen.|
Skittish African Penguins cross a road on Robben Island in South Africa.
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