Saturday, March 17, 2012

March Madness!

Whew, it's been a long couple of days!  As usual, my days have been full of fish and furry critters.  Yesterday I finally got to go on my first sawfish sampling trip of 2012.  Lately, my work schedule has been full of water sampling.  I am in charge of the water sampling project at our lab, and our grant was just expanded - so I've been running double the amount of water trips.  That means more sampling trips, more data entry and proofing, and a lot more time prepping trips and then breaking down equipment.

But anyway...water is boring.  How about those sawfish?  We were having a rather uneventful morning.  The tide was quite low, so our first set was in a deeper area.  We had just checked the net when we received a phone call from another crew out on the water.  They were pulling 600' seines, and guess what they caught?  Yup, a little sawfish.

We hurriedly picked up the nets and motored a bit downriver to where the other crew was waiting.  They transferred the sawfish into our loving care so we could work it up and they could finish their seine trip!  The sawfish was just a little guy - less than a meter in total length.  He was very well-behaved.  We decided to name him Edwin.  Not sure why, but that's his name.  We measured him, tagged him, counted his teeth, admired him, and pulled a couple of leeches off of him, since there are people out there who want to study sawfish leeches.  SCIENCE!

We finished working him up, and then sent him on his way (after taking a couple of photos).
How cute is this little sawfish?  The tag on his 2nd dorsal will help contribute to sawfish movement data.

Come Saturday, it was time to put on the small animal rescuer hat.  I did a LOT of driving today!  My first stop was Suncoast Humane Society, where I picked up 4 ferrets who are all in need of homes.  My thanks to the fine folks of Suncoast - they are great to work with!  Next I drove up to Venice to meet another volunteer who had picked up a couple of guinea pigs from Sarasota Animal Services.  Those two needed to go up to another foster home.  I headed up to Sarasota to meet Amber, who had 2 guinea pigs to give me, since they were getting adopted!  We traded critters and continued on our respective journeys.

I ran home to grab a couple of things and print out an adoption contract, then I headed to the piggy pair's new forever home!  It was a joy meeting their new family - they were so excited and immediately fell in love with the piggy girls!  It's always so refreshing to meet people who are truly interested in giving the best care to their small pets!

My next mission was to visit Otis at Petco.  I brought him some veggies and some love!  I'm surprised he hasn't been snatched up by someone yet, because he is just the cutest little thing.
How could anyone resist this little guy?
Exhausted, I headed home.  I still had to clean my potentially pregnant foster guinea pig's cage.  Brienne was dropped off at Suncoast with 2 boys (who went up to Brandon today), so she is on pregnancy watch for a couple of months.  She is just a little cutie, but never wants to come out of her pigloo!  I still don't know if she's actually pregnant, but it seems like a good bet.  The rescue sure doesn't need any more piggies (just took in a bunch!), but baby piggies are sure cute.  So - we'll wait and see what happens!  If she does end up being preggo, I will certainly post pictures of babies!

Meet Brienne.  The million-dollar question: is she pregnant?

The rest of the month shall continue with madness!  I've got 3 water sampling trips next week, a scientific manuscript in pre-production stages, my good friend will be visiting from Orlando, and then I am helping out with our huge guinea pig adoption and rabbit awareness event at the Brandon Petco on April 1st!  Uh oh, should I be worried that it's April Fool's Day?

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