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Sarah Olivero with a female black skimmer that recently lost part of its beak when a beachgoer struck it with a chair.
Robin Hartill
Longboat Key Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013 4 years ago

SOS hospital administrator hears the call of wildlife

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Three years ago, Sarah Olivero responded to an ad seeking someone to work on the grounds of Save Our Seabirds (SOS) but quickly found her calling in the bird-rescue facility’s hospital.

“I just fell in love with wildlife,” she said.

After nearly three years of working as an avian hospital technician at SOS, Olivero recently received her Class III Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and was promoted to the position of SOS avian hospital administrator. The position had been vacant since April, when SOS founder Lee Fox and the organization’s board severed their relationship.

“We are very pleased to promote Sarah to this new position,” said David Pilston, CEO of SOS, in a prepared statement. “She is an extremely talented and caring technician with broad and deep experience in rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing sick and injured birds. She is a natural leader and a strong team player who values the importance of cooperation, collaboration and communication with other local wildlife organizations and veterinarians.”

Olivero’s responsibilities include supervising hospital staff and medical treatment of birds and collaborating with veterinarians for treatment.

A typical day for her begins around 7:30 a.m., in the hospital’s critical-care ward, where she and technicians give patients hydration and medication, change bandages and prepare their food. Then, the team moves on to the sanctuary.

There’s therapy for the birds that are still healing, along with as many as five rescues during a single week.

Some of the best moments for Olivero come when a bird has healed and is ready to be released. Recently, for example, an osprey was found floating in the water. He was lethargic but perked up after treatment and eagerly flew back into the wild upon release.

Olivero is eager to see SOS continue to expand and continue its renovations and development of educational programs.

“We want to keep the public involved,” she said.

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