CROW Feather: Elisa Mendoza Millan

Where are you from?

“I am originally from Merida, Venezuela, but I graduated from University of Pamplona in Columbia.”

What is your position at CROW?

“My position at CROW is a Veterinary Medicine Extern.”

How long have you worked at CROW?

“I worked at CROW for 11 weeks.”

What is your favorite animal and why?

“My favorite animal that I worked with at the clinic is the brown pelican. I’ve never worked with a shore bird before, and my fascination for them grew when I witnessed their resilience and spirit during rehabilitation. When brown pelicans arrive sick or injured, it’s truly incredible to see their personalities emerge as they begin to recover. Their sassiness and funny antics always make me laugh, adding even more joy to the rewarding experience of helping them heal.”

What is your most memorable CROW moment?

“I have more than one memorable moment at CROW, but the first that comes to mind is when I assisted the intern doctors in two surgeries: a hook removal in a Laughing Gull and a fracture repair in a Red-shouldered Hawk. In the hook removal surgery, I worked closely with one of the intern doctors, learning the precise techniques needed for such a delicate procedure. For the fracture repair, I assisted another intern doctor, helping to place the pin and stabilize the injury. These surgeries allowed me to put into practice the knowledge I gained in university. The learning process and the success of both surgeries were incredibly gratifying. Additionally, my experience wouldn’t have been as memorable without my fellow students. Every day, I laughed and enjoyed working with them, and from this, beautiful friendships emerged. The people at CROW, in general, are amazing, and their dedication and knowledge made my time there truly special.”

What activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of CROW?

“Outside of CROW, one of my favorite activities was visiting Sanibel Island by bicycle whenever I had the chance. It was a wonderful way to explore and enjoy the beauty of my surroundings. Additionally, my friends and colleagues taught me how to do various crafts, which became a new hobby that I thoroughly enjoyed. Another passion of mine is going to the beach and immersing myself in the water, where I like to feel like a mermaid. Each time I went, my goal was to spot a different animal, and I was fortunate to see many. I also enjoyed observing the various wildlife birds and challenging myself to identify them based on what I learned at CROW.”

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

“As a recently graduated veterinarian in Colombia, I’ve had the joy of working closely with various animals, especially monkeys, which was incredibly fulfilling. Looking forward, my heart is set on pursuing certification to practice veterinary medicine in the United States. I dream of specializing in wildlife care, with a focus on primates, building on my passion and experience. Beyond that, I’m eager to explore the world, immersing myself in its diverse wildlife and cultures, each adventure bringing me closer to my dreams”

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