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National Volunteer Week – Animal Care

April 11, 2016 - Irvine Volunteers

April 10th-16th is National Volunteer Week! While we celebrate and appreciate our Irvine volunteers each and every week, this week we’ll be highlighting a few of our fabulous volunteers! Each day we will feature a different volunteer opportunity at Irvine, and let you know how to get involved!

Today it is time for our animal lovers to shine! Irvine has a collection of over 65 native animals…and someone needs to make sure they all get fed! Mel Petschauer, a student at University of Maryland and an Animal Care intern cares for all our critters.

Mel started interning Fall 2015, and is responsible for feeding, cleaning, taking temperature and humidity of each enclosure, and providing enrichment for the resident animals. Mel said: “I really enjoy providing enrichment for the animals, which can be anything from adding new or different item into their enclosure like a pumpkin, to taking them outside to exercise on Irvine’s grounds. I also really enjoy answering the inquisitive questions of the kids that are often watching me as I feed the turtles or frogs.”

Irvine opened our new butterfly house Spring 2015. Dana Rasnake, Butterfly House Intern, has been with Irvine for 1 year and was a key player in rearing caterpillars, tending for native plants, and acting as a docent and guide for visitors. She is now working on a project to monitor the native butterfly population at Irvine! Dana says her favorite part of volunteering with Irvine is “getting to work with all the wonderful staff and volunteers.  There’s a great community of people here at Irvine, and it feels wonderful to be a part of that.”