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New rehabber joins CROW staff

By Staff | Dec 27, 2017

CROW Rehabilitator Katie Mueller and Animal Ambassador Lola, an American kestrel. MEGHAN MCCOY

After completing a fellowship at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife, and enjoying the experience, Katie Mueller was hired on as the hospital’s newest rehabilitator.

Mueller started her fellowship at CROW in February of this year. She discovered the opportunity after one of her old classmates at Iowa State University had a fellowship at CROW.

“After I graduated, I applied and got the fellowship from February to August of this year. I learned a position for rehabbing opened up, so I applied and here I am,” she said smiling.

Mueller majored in animal ecology at Iowa State University due to her love of animals, which began while growing up on a farm. She said her family had chickens and her aunt and uncle, who lived close by, had sheep.

“I grew up helping taking care of all of that. I really enjoyed doing that,” Mueller said.

While in high school she had a job at a veterinarian clinic where she helped by walking dogs.

“Once I got to college I knew I wanted to do something animal related, but wasn’t sure if it was more farm animals, or wildlife,” she said. “There was a wildlife clinic attached to the college I went to, so I volunteered there and got hired there my junior year. I realized I do really want to work with wildlife and coming here kind of cemented that even more.”

Mueller said the best part about being a rehabber at CROW is everyone is so willing, since it is a teaching hospital, to help her learn new things.

“You can continue to grow here,” she said.

Mueller said she’s happy to be back as the newest rehabilitator because she really likes CROW. When asked which animals she enjoys working with, she answered raptors and pelicans.

“The pelicans all have a unique personality, it seems like,” she said.

Something she is looking forward to as a rehabber is working with sea turtles and learning more about them.

As a rehabber, she said her typical day is feeding and cleaning the outdoor enclosures in the morning. In between the feedings and cleanings, Mueller said they enrich all the cages and work on different projects on the grounds of CROW. In addition, she said they will rearrange perches in different enclosures to give the animals more enrichments.

As a rehabber, Mueller also has the opportunity to go on releases, which recently included some cormorants.

“They burst out of the box usually,” she said.