Becker College Animal Studies Students Save the Turtles
This January, three Becker College animal studies students spent a week in Mexico—not vacationing, but volunteering. Brooke Cote, Danielle Craven, and Whitney Smith spent over 100 hours assisting the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association Charities Mazunte Turtle Project. The project, which is directed by Dr. Richard Rodger, a veterinarian from North Grafton, Mass. helps protect the endangered sea turtle population in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Cote, Craven, and White participated in the spaying, neutering, and deworming of overpopulations of stray dogs, which eat turtle eggs and hatchlings. At the conclusion of the week-long project, more than 1,400 baby sea turtles had been released and more than 280 cats and dogs had been spayed and neutered in 15 towns. Not only do turtles and dogs benefit from the Project; humans do as well. The turtles draw tourists to towns along the Oaxacan coast, and the decrease in stray dogs and improved health of treated dogs have resulted in increased safety to promote a more robust tourist economy.
Cote, who is president of the Becker College Student Government Association, and an active student leader, created the Becker Mazunte Turtle Project student organization, which raised funds on campus to cover much of the trip’s expenses.