My last few days in Belize were the most action-packed yet! In addition to bird banding, that same day we got to help a veterinarian perform a necropsy on the white-lipped peccary! A necropsy is basically an exploratory procedure usually to try to determine the cause of death in an animal, and it can also be used to collect samples for diagnoses and research! It involves looking at a variety of organs, like the heart, lungs, liver, kidney, and the intestines! It was incredibly interesting to see just how zoo veterinarians need to sometimes be the detective while at the same time ensuring that they are performing a surgical procedure, and at times, the smell was pretty overwhelming.
On our last night in Belize, we got to go to a karaoke bar and really had a fun time with our instructors! One of them even showed us a cultural Mayan dance symbolizing the embodiment of God in nature and he explained how that belief is an important part of his identity. I really enjoyed getting to work with such an amazing group of people and it blew my mind how quickly those two weeks went. I learned so much about the conservation efforts this program and the various organizations we worked with put in every single day to ensure their message rings loud and clear: protect the wildlife species of Belize and let them live in peace!
It has been about 24 hours since I left Belize and already I am missing everyone so much. I know that this opportunity to travel abroad is a once in a lifetime experience and I am sure I made the most of it. Overall, my favorite moments were getting to perform a physical exam on a tapir and working with sheep at a research facility when I was in San Ignacio! I also loved the opportunities I have had to get so much hands-on experience in performing sutures and veterinary skills I will be using in my future career. It will definitely be an adjustment as I return home to my ordinary lifestyle and I am fortunate to have made so many connections that will hopefully last a lifetime. I want to give a huge shoutout to SEBS once again for this amazing opportunity and I am so excited for what’s to come in the fall 🙂