Marianne’s Volunteer Job: Cape Wildlife Center, Part II

August 25, 2015

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*The story below was written by Marianne, an adult resident at Latham Centers who volunteers regularly at the Cape Wildlife Center. Below is Part II of her Blog Entry. Please click here to see the first.

The turtles are my favorite to take care of at the [Cape Wildlife] Center. The last release I went on was in Truro. It was with another animal I took care of, a giant snapping turtle. He was dehydrated and emaciated. He couldn’t eat because he had a bird inside his stomach causing a blockage. He was so sick when he came to us we thought he might not make it. I nicknamed him “Sly” because he used to watch me when I came to take care of him. He also would glance at me when I was talking to him. He ate Chapin for his food, and 1 Vitamin B that I would sneak inside one of the fish. He was at the Center for a very long time. He started acting like he was getting stronger. When I used to clean his tub, which was his home and reminded me of a horse trough on wheels, I used to put him on a towel and cover him so he wouldn’t move. I found that that he liked the water sprayed on his shell. He absolutely loved it. He would move his body in the direction the water was spraying.
It was decided that Sly would be released in a pond close to where he came from but less populated by people and boats, and with a lot more turtles. It was exciting but sad in a way because I knew I had to say goodbye. That was a beautiful day and I thought it was the perfect day for a turtle release. He was put in a big pet carrier. He was a big boy now and weighed at least 100 pounds. He then was driven to his new home. The pond was surrounded by woods. Ruth Anne also was at the Pond to see Sly being released after his ordeal. She was the one who brought him to the Center. Sly did not waste much time going into the water. It was like he had not been there all his life. He didn’t forget how to dive or swim; he was a pro. He seemed happy to be in a real pond and not a tub.
I enjoy taking care of all the animals; it gives me the feeling of intelligence and self-worth. I go every Friday for 4 hours. It’s a lot of fun to work with animals which is one of the biggest loves of my life, even if it’s just a volunteer job. It’s more like my play day, and the people there are very nice.

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