The day was finally over. We had had lots of hard and interesting work, but no new animals or releases. So I was happy to sit in my hammock. I reached for the railing to give myself a push, but when I grabbed it, there was something under my hand, and then it happened… BOOM! A huge pain in my palm, then my fingers and wrist, and I knew I’d been stung by something but I didn’t know what. It was like a needle was set in a fire, and then jabbed 2 inches deep in my hand. I searched the railing and saw a huge, black ant.
I calmly made my way downstairs to ask Siobhan for any cream, when the pain hit me in a wave far more painful than the last. I started to tear up as we walked down to the animal hospital. We passed Sarah and Andrés cleaning Mickey's cage, another wave hit me, my hand started shaking, my fingers are numb, and at this point I’m crying, not sobbing but crying. We entered the hospital and got some cooling cream as the area around the bite was red hot. Again another wave hit me, and another, worse and worse each time.
I held an ice pack to the sting, my whole body tense, and to deal with the pain started shoving my head into the table and whaling louder than I ever have before. It went on like this for around five to six minutes. The waves eventually come less frequently, the pain slowly subsiding. Swelling had gone down but it was still hot to the touch and hurt more than a bee sting for a little over three hours.
As the night goes on I talked to my family and my aunt reminded me of the time when we were planning our trip, and we watched the Coyote Peterson bullet ant video (see link at the end). We had said that would really suck if we got stung and laughed it off. If I hadn’t had the people around me to help I don’t know what I would have done. I now can say I’ve been stung by the most painful insect in the animal kingdom. But in my opinion, it was not worth it…
Thank you so much for reading! Yes this really happened to me and it was the most painful thing I’ve ever felt and probably will ever feel. Just to let you know, my Facebook has not been working, so until I get that fixed please just contact me through my mom and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can, or send me an email through my contact page!
Here's the video. If you just want to see the sting, skip to 13:02, but I'd watch the whole video if you have time.
So most of my posts have been sentimental and really descriptive, but this time I'm going to just write about some of the experiences I’ve been having. Hope you enjoy!
After joining the vet team I've had some once in a lifetime experiences.
The first one I want to talk about is something I didn’t think I’d ever do, an autopsy! Granted it was on a toucan but I counted it. I took samples, and handed people tools, but it was one of the most interesting things I've ever done and would definitely do it again.
The second is WALKING A SLOTH. I got to walk a sloth named Mickey. He's one of the most loved, if not the most loved animal here so it was an honor for me to escort him. I basically let him hang on my chest while I walked him to the young trees by the compost. I let him climb as much as he wanted, without letting him get higher than my reach. It was SO cool and will remember it forever.
The third and final one for this post was definitely working with Lenny. Lenny is a baby opossum and is the animal I've bonded the most with. The biggest thing I did for him was create his new home. The vet team recently put one of our birds in a bigger enclosure, so I took the opportunity and re-purposed the old cage. It was harder than I thought: I had to clean, then disinfect, then clean his cage again. Then I had to do the same for new branches, blankets, and other things for the cage that had been used before. In the end his cage was about 3-4 times bigger than the last one, had way more enrichment, and was overall the biggest upgrade he could have asked for. I tried to improve his living area as much as I could because he's due to be released some time in this month. I'm so happy for him, yet I will be so sad to see him go.