Senior veterinary technician and member of the SeaWorld Rescue Team, Dr Lara Croft
My typical day at work involves…
Every morning, I start the day with a coffee. The first thing I do is try to check in with my patients, and adjust any treatment plans.
These are continuously tailored and tweaked to ensure that every animal gets individual care.
My daily duties involve ensuring that the animals receive the best medical treatment and are in top condition. No two days are the same. I treat each animal as a new case, as you would with humans, to provide specialised nutritional and medical plans.
Some days involve emergency care for incoming cases, such as animals that have been injured in the wild. We have to treat and rehabilitate those animals as swiftly as possible.
The SeaWorld rescue team has rescued more than 29,000 animals over the past 50 years, so it’s always all hands on deck.
To round off the day, I like to go home and do some exercise, which helps me to unwind after a busy day.
I’ve been in my job for…
I’ve worked at SeaWorld for almost 10 years, but the time has passed quickly. I must have worked with thousands of animals in that time.
I became a veterinarian because…
I’ve always loved animals, especially marine animals. When I was younger, I was an intern at the New England Aquarium. I immediately knew that this was the job for me, so I trained further to achieve my dream.
The most rewarding part of my job is…
Seeing an animal recover from an injury or illness that they probably wouldn’t have survived without our help.
The most challenging part of my job is…
I work with animals of all sizes and shapes. Sometimes they can’t even fit into the surgery, so I have to find ways to apply the same care outside. There are new situations every day. For example, I once adapted a treatment technique for horses to use on a stingray.
My favourite destination is…
The Galapagos Islands – it’s a nature lover’s paradise.
The question I am most commonly asked is…
What is my favourite animal? I love the diversity of the animals I get to care for, so it’s hard to pick a favourite.
The worst thing that’s happened at work is…
I stayed up all night trying to help a sick, orphaned manatee calf with low blood sugar, which sadly didn’t make it. That’s probably the hardest part of medicine. It helps to know you’ve done all you can possibly do.
To relax I like to…
Exercise or play trivia games.
Which one thing would you take to a desert island?
Snorkel or scuba gear. If I’m going to be stranded, I might as well try to enjoy my time.
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