On this trip to the California Academy of Science, the Vet Aide Club had the opportunity to have an exclusive tour with wonderful and amazing Dr. Freeland. The California Academy of Science was absolutely beautiful! Featuring 7 amazing permanent exhibits (one of which is an ALBINO CROCIDILE!) and an entire floor of new exhibits every few months, we were kept busy with what to see! The California Academy of Science stars over 45,000 animals, the majority of which are vertebrates. We saw a great diversity of exotic animals from all around the world, from macaws to South American penguins. The tour was incredibly informative and a great learning experience for those who wanted to learn more about exotic animals or are interested in animal research. Dr. Freeland was an incredibly enthusiastic teacher for us, teaching us about everything the facility and its animals. We learned everything from the initiation of molting behavior in penguins to the venom-titration of poisonous snakes. Dr. Freeland took us behind-the-scenes and showed us the clinic/hospital rooms. Most importantly, Dr. Freeland who was so encouraging yet realistic about our pre-vet goals, gave us a heart-to-heart about what actions we should take to make it to vet-school. His long journey from undergrad to working for the Academy of Science was reminder to us all that life takes us on many different paths before we find our true calling. Dr. Freeland worked in equine practice and was a wildlife ranger before he worked with aquatic animals at the Academy of Science. In a nutshell, his best advice was to work harder, harder, harder; dream jobs are not met with lucky encounters. Apply yourself, find yourself, and, unless you’re setting up your own business, sell yourself!
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