▶️ Think Wild – COCC partnership helping students and wildlife

A collaboration between veterinary technician program students at Central Oregon Community College and Think Wild, a local nonprofit that operates a wildlife hospital in Bend, is proving to a tremendous success for all involved.
COCC students Heaven Rodrigues and Taylor Madrigal are receiving the type of hands on learning experience that is truly invaluable. The second-year veterinary technician students are in their third week of a clinical rotation at Think Wild. 

“Getting to be immersed in this kind of environment has been intriguing and is a huge difference from the dogs and cats that we get to work with regularly,” said Madrigal.

“In the short three weeks that we’ve had, I’ve learned so much and I’ve truly worked with a lot of difference species here,” said Rodrigues. “And everyone here at Think Wild has been so kind about teaching me and training me with the different species. They’re really geared toward cultivating a positive and healthy learning environment for us. It’s been great.”

RELATED: Think Wild adapts to avian influenza after ODFW bans water fowl rehab

RELATED: ‘Don’t kidnap wildlife’: Oregon says don’t assume a lone animal is orphaned

On this day, their patient was a red-tailed hawk. 
The partnership between COCC and Think Wild has allowed students to gain hard to come by clinical hours working with they type of wild animals that you don’t see at a traditional clinic.
“We’ve been working with a lot of raptors. The red-tailed hawks. Great Horned Owl. I’ve been getting to feed the baby squirrels here,” said Rodrigues.

“With these animals, you have to be very cautions. They have talons or beaks or claws that may come at you and they’re not used to being handled by humans and they’re very sensitive to that,” said Madrigal.

And it’s given Think Wild access to additional machines and resources that COCC has, that they don’t.
The plan is for the partnership to continue well into the future. Think Wild also plans on expanding their current facilities to be able to care for even more injured wild animals moving forward. 

Top Local Stories