Born To Be Wild
Updated: Dec 13, 2020
Hey, I’m Amanda.
I wear several hats with WildCare; I coordinate social media, write and edit blog posts, help Karen with the bats from time to time, and help explore and develop research topics. It’s really interesting to be involved with the start of an organization, and I’m happy to help both the animals and the environment when and where I can.
My background is all over the place. I’ve been in the field for about eight years. I don’t think I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I know I loved animals; my earliest life plan was to run away in the woods and live off of wild berries. I had dreams about wolves, loved the Lion King, liked being active, and wanted to travel the world.
More than anything, I think I wanted freedom. As a kid, I wrote adventure stories and dreamed of being the person living the adventure. By the time I was in high school, I got sick of people asking me what I wanted to be, so I started telling them “the female Indiana Jones.” I was restless and eager to just go out and do something with my life, to see the world, and to experience whatever was out there.
In winter of 2011, I took a life changing trip to Yellowstone National Park with the Canisius Zoological Society. The first time I saw wild wolves, I had an inkling; when I recognized their struggle and conflict with humans, I started to develop a better idea of where I saw myself.
Shortly after I returned to Buffalo, I started volunteering at the SPCA wildlife department.
I eventually returned to the edge of Yellowstone for an internship, where I worked as a naturalist with wolves, bears, and birds of prey at an AZA-accredited facility. I later interned at the Center for Wildlife in Maine, cared for numerous species, and learned how to surf in my spare time. I usually worked at coffee shops to make end’s meet. At some point, I acquired my New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation license, and started to focus on developing more skills.
I continued to volunteer in the wildlife department at the SPCA in between my various gigs, and am thankful to have worked there part-time for a while. I was starting to act on a vision I didn’t even realize I had for myself.
The more I tried different things, the more it became undeniably clear to me that I not only liked wildlife medicine - it was the only thing I had ever committed to.
I got into graduate school and wrote my Master’s thesis on the relationship between wildlife disease reporting, temperature, and newspaper reporting across five regions of New York State to try and evaluate the way we understand disease outbreaks; kind of timely, I guess. I acquired an Associate Wildlife Biologist professional certificate from the Wildlife Society. And now, I’m in vet tech school, and trying to get into veterinary school.
I want to be able to do more one day. I want to make a difference in the world, and do something that matters. WildCare is a chance for me to learn, and to grow, and to bring some ideas to life, all while helping wildlife.
I definitely got the adventure I wanted. I’m not sure where it’ll take me, but hey, that’s kind of the fun of it.