CROW Feathers: Liandrie Swanepoel

Where are you from?

"I live in Athens, Georgia where I am currently attending veterinary school"

What is your position at CROW?

"I am a veterinary medicine externship student."

How long have you worked at CROW?

"I recently completed my 6-week externship on April 3" 

What is your favorite animal and why?

"I have loved working with all of the Double Crested Cormorants, Brown Pelicans, and Royal Terns that have come through the hospital due to Red Tide and watching their fun personalities come out as they feel better! However, my favorite patient I have worked with during my time at CROW was a tiny Burrowing Owl that was caught in a glue trap. It was so rewarding to be able to wash all of the glue residue out of its feathers and get it ready for release. Working at CROW has really helped me gain an appreciation for avian medicine!"

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

"My most memorable experiences are definitely the ones that involve sea turtles! It is always so fascinating to see all of the staff get together and work on completing the full evaluation of the turtles, which involves a full physical exam, scanning for an identification chip, and taking measurements. Many sea turtles that come through are suffering from Red Tide (Brevetoxicosis) and their carapaces are often covered in epibiota (barnacles, shrimp...etc) that you can see crawling around on their shells. The amount of the shell that is covered by epibiota can actually be an indicator of how long the turtle has been sick! It is so rewarding seeing these animals regain their strength over the course of weeks and to go from barely keeping their heads up to swimming around happily!"


What activities or hobbies do you enjoy outside of CROW?

"I have enjoyed being able to spend so much time here reading on the beach, riding bikes around the island, and looking for wildlife on the trails. Back home, I love to spend my free time exploring new hiking spots with my dogs, watching scary movies, and listening to podcasts."


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

"After I graduate vet school, I would love to complete a small animal rotating internship, then a wildlife focused internship, and hopefully end up working with wildlife/conservation medicine. I have a background in wildlife disease research and would love to work at a facility where I can continue to participate in research. My ultimate goal would be to move to Australia to work with their wonderful native species and to be involved with conservation!"

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