CROW Feather: Dion van der Veen

Where are you from?

“I’m from the Netherlands.”

What is your position at CROW?

“Veterinary Medical Externship student.”

How long have you worked at CROW?

“I just completed my 4 month externship.”

What is your favorite animal and why?

“My favorite animal is the Eurasian Eagle owl, however, owls in general fascinate me. They have so many interesting evolutionary adaptations such as their huge tubular eyes to catch all and any light in the dark, superb hearing to locate and catch their prey almost solely on sound and their adapted feather macro- and microstructure to allow completely silent flight so they can surprise their prey. Here in Florida, my favorite animal is the burrowing owl!”

What is your most memorable CROW moment?

“My most memorable moment here at CROW, which is hard to pick from many, is the orthopedic surgery of a Turkey vulture. The vulture fractured their humerus and surgery was warranted to fix the fracture. It is amazing that wildlife rehab centers can help these animals regain their flight, which without the intervention of the center would have never been possible. Overall, I enjoyed all the experiences, the staff and veterinary interns taught me a lot and were always open for questions and discussions about cases and treatment options. I also loved the time we spent with all the other students.”

What activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of CROW?

“Back home (and here on Sanibel) I love to go out birding (and other wildlife watching). To see wildlife in their natural habitat is exciting and inspiring for all the work in wildlife rehab. It is also great to be outdoors and be away from all the commitments in daily life.”

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

“I would love to become a wildlife veterinarian. The whole reason I started vet-school was to be able to work in conservation and with nature. I would love to bring back knowledge from here in the States and bring it back home to the Netherlands. In the future I want to be able to bring an addition to wildlife medicine, whether that is through working towards better medical care for animals in a wildlife clinic or through research into wildlife health subjects. Soon, however, I want to finish vet-school and start doing internships in wildlife medicine to reach my goals!”

To learn more about CROW’s student programs, click here.