Dr. Sasha Troiano and Dr. Melanie Peel have joined the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) as its newest Wildlife and Conservation Medicine Interns. Their year-long veterinary internships began on July 1.

Dr. Troiano, who grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences before completing a Master’s degree in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (Fish Toxicology) at the University of Washington in Seattle. She went on to earn her doctorate at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.

“I can’t really remember a time where I wasn’t interested in wildlife,” says Dr. Troiano. “ I have always loved animals and I have always loved being outside camping, hiking etc, and wildlife was just part of that.   As I got older, I began to realize that so much of the damage done to wildlife is either directly or indirectly related to human influence, and if I can help mitigate that damage, even in a small way, it is very worth it.”

Before coming to CROW, Dr. Troiano completed a wildlife rehabilitation internship at PAWS in Seattle and an externship at Cape Wildlife Center along with externships at the Florida Aquarium, Shedd Aquarium, Sea World San Antonio, the Milwaukee Zoo and a small animal medicine and surgery rotating internship at the University of Illinois. She also volunteered at the Tufts Wildlife Clinic with their baby team during the busy spring and fall months.

Dr. Peel grew up in Whittier, California outside of Los Angeles before attending Whittier College where she double majored in Biology and Environmental Science along with swimming and playing water polo. She received her doctorate from Oregon State University’s Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine in 2018.

“During college, I was doing research on blue crab larvae populations in the Gulf of Texas – I thought I wanted to do ecology research for my career – and ended up volunteering at a sea turtle and sea bird rehabilitation center,” says Dr. Peel. “That’s when I realized I felt so much more fulfilled doing clinical conservation.”

She went on to do a small animal medicine and surgery rotating internship at the Veterinary Specialty Center of Seattle and recently completed a zoo veterinary internship at Wildlife Safari in Oregon before arriving to CROW.

The Wildlife and Conservation Medicine Internship at CROW is centered around the ‘One World, One Health concept’ and designed for those who have completed their Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and are interested in gaining experience treating wildlife. In addition to clinical duties, interns participate in research and conservation projects, give case and journal club rounds, and help teach students, staff, and volunteers.

“CROW sees a high case load of a wide variety of species, and I am excited to learn the husbandry, rehabilitation, medicine, and surgery that goes into rehabilitation and release of these animals,” says Dr. Troiano. “I had never worked with pelicans before, but from the couple I’ve seen so far, I think they will be one of my favorite wildlife species to work with this year!”

“I’m looking forward to gaining the experience and knowledge to make a difference in conservation medicine, as well as making human connections with like-minded people,” says Dr. Peel. “On the rehab side of things, I love working with opossums. They eat ticks and are so cute!”

If you would like to learn more about internships and externships offered at CROW, please visit www.CROWClinic.org/articles/student-programs.


About Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW)

Established in 1968, the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) is a teaching hospital saving the sick, injured and orphaned native and migratory wildlife of Southwest Florida and beyond.  Through state-of-the-art veterinary care, public education programs and an engaging visitor center, CROW works to improve the health of the environment, humans and our animals through wildlife medicine. For more information, or to plan your visit, go to www.crowclinic.org. If you find an animal that is in need of help, call (239) 472-3644 ext. #222.