CROW Feathers: Katherine Kunkel

Vets with bird

Where are you from?

“I am originally from Houston, TX, but I currently live in Manhattan, KS where I go to school.”

What is your position at CROW?

“I am an undergraduate externship student.”

How long have you worked at CROW?

“I just completed my 10 week externship at CROW.”

What is your favorite animal and why?

“I have two favorite animals from my time at CROW. My ultimate favorite would have to be an osprey. They are such strong birds, but the feather coloration and pattern around their face makes them look shocked or offended at the fact that you are even in the same room as them. An osprey was the first large bird at CROW that I had interacted with, so they hold a special place in my heart. I have learned so much from working with them, and it has truly been an amazing experience. My second favorite animal from my time at CROW would have to be our most recent laughing gull. When he first came in, I immediately felt a connection. He is such a beautiful bird with a big personality. He loves tub time and recess, and I tried to keep him on recess as long as I could because he was my favorite patient. I tried to sign up for his treatments every time I was upstairs because I enjoyed seeing him on recess and looking to see what he would do! It was sometimes a struggle to put him back in his cage, though, because he liked to run under the cages to avoid capture. Every time I worked with him, he made my day and made me smile!”

Vet with scope

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

“My most memorable experience at CROW would have to be the first sea turtle hatchling release. When I first heard we finally had hatchlings that we were going to release, I was so excited! Growing up, sea turtles were my favorite animal, and the thought of helping so many on their treacherous journey to the water made me smile. All in all, we released about 20 hatchlings! Watching and helping them walk from the shore to the water for the first time must be one of the most memorable experiences in my life.”

What activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of CROW?

“I have many hobbies outside of CROW! Back at college, I enjoy playing club volleyball at my school where we get to travel around and compete against different universities and even at nationals. I am also in the marching band at my university! Last year was my first time marching ever, and the friends I made during the season will last for a lifetime. I also enjoy biking and swimming. On my days off from CROW, I frequently biked around the different paths around Ding Darling to see the different nature around Sanibel. I also enjoy going to the beach and relaxing and looking for shells!”

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

“My main goal in the future is to become a veterinarian. At my university, I am in the early admission veterinary program meaning that I have a guaranteed spot in vet school at Kansas State if I choose to take it. I am planning on completing undergrad in a total of 3 years then heading to vet school afterwards. After vet school, I would like to become either a swine or a wildlife veterinarian. Experiences like CROW are helping me see the different aspects of the veterinary field and helping me further decide what I would like to do in the future. I am leaning towards wildlife veterinary medicine at this point, and I would like to work in a place unfamiliar to me.”

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