Meet Anne Gilewski, Mystic Aquarium’s Licensed Veterinary Technician in our Animal Health Care Department. The veterinary team takes care of every animal at the Aquarium from the smallest invertebrate to our beluga whales.
Anne provides nursing support to Mystic’s three veterinarians in addition to conducting her own research projects and playing an active role in mentoring the next generation of zoo/aquatic technicians. On any given day, Anne can be seen grabbing a blood sample from a reptile, radiographing a whale’s teeth, assisting in a surgery or performing cytology on a chuff sample. In addition, Anne supports the Animal Rescue Clinic by assisting in field necropsies during the season. She also serves in several leadership roles within the Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians.
Her career path to becoming a zoo/aquatic technician started with an internet search of two words: ‘animal’ and ‘volunteer.’ That search led to opportunities to work with the ASPCA, Animal Care Centers of NYC, New York Aquarium and Bushy Hill Nature Center. Volunteering provided valuable experience to learn about the veterinary field while offering much-needed assistance so employees could focus on caring for the animals.
Bushy Hill Nature Center at Incarnation Center provides adult and youth programs that emphasize the importance of conservation and protecting our local wildlife. Bushy Hill operates a working farm nestled within the woods and is home to several goats, donkeys, chickens, rabbits, two pigs and a llama named Buck. Children learn about each species and their care through camp encounter sessions which encourage exploration of the yards. You’ll also find Anne there lugging straw, mucking stalls and losing arguments with the goats over how “it’s not okay to eat that.”
Without volunteering, a career change may have never happened. Anne continues to devote time to helping others to give back for those that opened the door.