"Snailia" comes from my favorite animal, the snail, and my middle name, Julia.
I love working with animals and have worked with a lot of super cool and cute animals through a variety of jobs:
Animal Caretaker at a Tropical Plant and Animal Exhibit
(Bowring Park Conservatory)
I worked at this conservatory in the Winter of 2009. While it was snowy and cold outside, I was warm and cozy inside. The Stick Bug tank was very hard to clean because I couldn't tell what was a bug and what was a stick!
My favorite animals were the Giant African Land Snails. They were huge, soft, and squishy. Often I would take them out of their tank, spray my arm down with water (so it was nice and wet for them) and let them crawl up my arm! To keep the Giant Snails happy I would clean their tank daily and re-fill their water dishes. I fed them fruit, like apples, around lunchtime every day. Snails need calcium to protect their shells from cracking, so I put a cuttlebone in their tank for them to munch on. Snails also like to be moist so I would spray their tank with water every hour! If the snails laid eggs I would keep them covered with soil so they would be warm.
Interpreter at the Ocean Sciences Center
One of my jobs at the Ocean Sciences Center involved teaching people about local marine animals using a touch tank. The tank was outside and the public was welcome to touch and pick up the animals, such as sun stars, moon snails, scallops, crabs, sea anemones, and sea cucumbers. The animals were all collected from the ocean around Newfoundland and are rotated between the touch tank and indoor tanks for the summer. In September, all the animals are released back into the ocean.The Sea Cucumber has a funny defense mechanism, which is to squirt water when it's picked up. Most people thought the Sea Cucumber was peeing on them!
My other job was much different and involved working with Harp Seals. I assisted with cognition studies, which measured the seal's ability to see color out of the water. My other duties involved cutting fish to feed to the seals, and then the fun part: feeding them! I would stand on the small platform, where the seal is, and throw chunks of fish into the tank. All the seals would race each other for food!
Education Assistant at MUN Botanical Garden