CROW Feathers: Wendy Ruiz

Where are you from?

"I’m from Mexico City and went to vet school there at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)."

What is your position at CROW?

"I am a veterinary medicine externship student."

How long have you worked at CROW?

"My externship lasted almost 8 weeks." 

What is your favorite animal and why?


"My favorite animals to work with at CROW are the owls, from the smallest to the biggest ones. I had the chance to work with the Burrowing Owls and Eastern Screech Owls and I love the different sounds they make to scare their prey (or the externs at CROW) and how smart and fast they are on trying to escape from the cage. I also worked with a Barred Owl and a Great Horned Owl, I’m amazed by their big and expressive eyes, their beautiful feathers, and the strength of their talons. " 

What is your favorite memory or story from your time at CROW?

"It was when I assisted in a surgery on a Great Blue Heron to remove two internal hooks, one in the esophagus and one in the proventriculus. I had never been in a bird surgery before and it was amazing to have had the chance to learn directly from the vet intern Dr. Kellow, who is really good at teaching. I’m sure all of these learnings I will apply with my future patients and I’m so excited about that. Also, the Great Blue Heron recovered great and was released recently and that made me super happy."

What activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of CROW? 

"I like painting landscapes with acrylics or oils, going to concerts, cooking, and doing outdoors activities like cycling or camping. In my free time living in Sanibel, I enjoy hanging out with my fellow externs that have quickly become my friends, we like going to the beach on the sunrise or sunset, kayaking and doing trails at Ding Darling, going to restaurants in Sanibel, Captiva or Fort Myers or just cooking and watching movies at the housing. We always have a good time together and for me that has been one of the best parts of all this experience!"

What are some of your goals or aspirations for the future?

"I definitely want to continue working with wildlife and conservation, I know that to maintain functioning ecosystems and prevent zoonotic diseases spillover from wildlife reservoirs to humans we need policy support that effectively promotes wildlife health, ecosystem integrity, and sustainable development practices. My next step in life is doing a Master’s in Public and Environmental Health. After that I would like to continue gaining medical experience by doing internships to be able to work as a zoo or wildlife vet and contribute to conservation from there."