Today I finished up a project that my supervisors have had me working on for the past couple of days, which was building a mesh cage. The mesh cage is for one of tanks in the shark quarantine building. It’s going to be used to keep smaller fish in the same tank as some larger fish, but keep them separate. The cage also has some blue plastic encircling the top, so that the food pellets for the smaller fish won’t float through the mesh, and get into the larger tank. Building this cage was…very irritating, and pretty painful. First, I had to zip tie mesh to two circular pieces of PVC pipe, and cut off the excess. Then I had to zip tie mesh around one of the circular pieces of PVC, creating the body of the cylinder. As I was securing the mesh around the PVC circle, I also had to secure the blue plastic to the wall of the cylinder. That part took FOREVER. The plastic had to be secured right by the PVC, and had to be tied tight to the mesh so that the food pellets won’t leak out. I had to cut and re-secure most of the zip ties at least twice if not more. Then, when it came time to finish the body of the cylinder, I was trying to tie the two edges of the mesh together, and was getting cut and scratched by the edges of the mesh. When I was FINALLY able to tie the ends together, I then had to place the other circle of PVC on top of the cage, and secure it. Although we haven’t used the cage yet, I think I did a really good job of building it, and I think that the cage will work great.
After I finish my undergraduate degree, I want to go to vet school, and become a marine veterinarian and work in rehabilitation. Yesterday, when I was in the quarantine building working on the cage, I asked my supervisors if they have a veterinarian on staff, or if they took care of illnesses themselves. The aquarium doesn’t have their own vet on staff, but they share one with the zoo, and she comes in every day to check on the animals in the quarantine building, and make sure that they are doing fine. However, the other staff members at the aquarium are able to administer medicine and treat illnesses on their own, and usually only need a veterinarian in major emergencies. I though this was very interesting, because it let me know that if I work at an aquarium, I could potentially do most of what a veterinarian would do. This is something I want to keep researching, so that I can decide if I still want to pursue a career as a marine veterinarian, and what kind of opportunities are available for marine veterinarians.