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New Veterinarian named at Cayman Turtle Centre

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New Veterinarian named at Cayman Turtle Centre
05Apr 2016

Cayman Turtle Centre: Island Wildlife Encounter is pleased to announce that Dr. Ana Malabia will take up the post of Veterinarian. Since graduating with a degree in Veterinary Surgery and Medicine from Spain's Cardenal Herrera University, Dr. Ana decided that she really wanted to work with aquatic animals. Her dream started coming true when she spent two years as an intern at Oceanografic in Valencia, which is Europe's largest aquarium. ''There were dolphins, walruses, sea lions, sharks, and I worked with turtles because we had a turtle rescue team there,'' she said. After that, Dr. Ana went on to work as Head of Veterinary Services at Mundomar, in Benidorm, Spain: ''It was a mixture too because there were monkeys, and lemurs and we have an aquarium there were dolphins and sea lions and all kind of aquatic birds and parrots too,'' she said. Before coming to CTF as Veterinarian, Dr. Ana worked at two other Caribbean locations as Senior Vet. She worked Dolphin Discovery in Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, and then in Dolphin Discovery, Jamaica. The extensive experience of working with so many different kinds of animals - birds, reptiles, mammals, and fish, is an ideal background for working at CTF, because of the many kinds of animals that live here. From Caribbean birds to reptiles such as the endangered Cayman Brac Iguana (a different species from the Grand Cayman blue iguana), to Smiley the 10-foot long hybrid crocodile, as well, of course as the green sea turtles, as well as the agouti (presently the only representative of the mammals at CTF). Looking ahead to her job at CTF, Dr. Ana said: '' The first thing when you are working with this type of animal is preventative medicine. You have to do vet calls to check the animals every day so that you prevent sickness. It's not always possible - it's like ourselves; we get sick and we can't always control it, but we try to make the risk to the animals less,'' she said. Dr Ana says she will be interested in participating in helping the aviary treat the rescued indigenous birds, often presented to CTF by the Department of the Environment. These are birds whose homes might have been destroyed, or have been kept as pets and abused. CTF works hard to nurse these birds, such as both Grand Cayman parrots and Cayman Brac parrots, (as well as, recently, one brown pelican) back to health - something which visitors might not see or be aware of. Dr. Ana is keen that more people know about the work CTF does: ''Part of our mission is to involve the people in what we do, and we have to educate the people so that they know what we are doing for the environment and the wild animals,'' she said. Caption: Dr Ana Malabia, CTF's new Veterinaria