Ambassador Profile – Karina Khatic, University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago
Hi, I’m Karina – A University of the West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago student and I have been a part of The Expedition Project Ambassador team since 2022.
I have been working with The Expedition Project since 2022, helping with live streams and developing online courses with the help of Wildlife Vets like Dr. Peter Rogers, Ecologists like Terry-Lee Honiball and fellow ambassadors from around the UK.
WHEN DID I FIRST REALISE I WANTED TO BE A VET?
Growing up, I’ve been quite indecisive regarding my career path. At one point, I wanted to do human medicine because I became fascinated with how the human body works and with medicine overall. However, as years went by, I realized I wanted to make a significant impact in society and to do great things. I knew from a very tender age that I just wanted to help people, animals, and the environment. My decision to do Veterinary Medicine stemmed from the fact that there are many human doctors and even more people who strive to be doctors but the vet community is much smaller. The number of persons interested in truly making life better for animals is even smaller so I thought maybe being a vet is my calling. I’ve always had a soft spot for animals and I am determined to make a better life for them in the future. I figured with being a vet, I can do more with animals and still help people and make an impact there too. There are too many cases of neglect and animal abuse that go unnoticed and are often bypassed and witnessing this as I grew up made me realize how much work needs to be done when it comes to animals.
WHAT IS MY MOTIVATION TO BECOME A VET?
There’s no doubt that we live in a cruel world. Each day, an animal is abused, neglected, scared and dying by the hands of humans. Being a vet means I can find a way to make a difference. I can have a better understanding of animals and by extension be the voice which they don’t have. I can also offer my services as a vet to animals in poorer communities whose owners are unable to pay the bills or to the shelters who are continuously overwhelmed.
MY BIGGEST TIP IF YOU WANT TO STUDY TO BECOME A VET IS…
It doesn’t matter where you are nor where you decide to study, Veterinary Medicine is a lot of work but you will never learn absolutely everything at university. Discover new opportunities and avenues to learn more that’s outside your university. Any hands-on experience is always a big help. Find ways to unwind and take some personal time for yourself because you need to find a balance. Your mental health is just as important as earning your degree! Remember why you choose to become a vet and keep reminding yourself of that goal because that’s what will get you through university.
WHAT IS MY FAVOURITE ANIMAL?
This is probably my hardest question yet because it’s pretty tough to just pick one but I’d definitely say I love red foxes a lot. A few years ago, I found this Instagram account where this remarkable woman rescues foxes and cares for them. I fell in love instantly. They make the cutest sounds and they have such a fierce yet loving appearance.
MY FAVOURITE ANIMAL RELATED STORY IS…
We come across more and more rescue stories which are just phenomenal. This particular one involves a cow that was supposed to be someone’s dinner. She was owned by a butcher who continuously neglects the cows and bulls that he raises and was in a piece of land at the back of my house. With no food or water, my family and friend gave her water and fed her almost every single day to the point we fell in love with her and couldn’t bear to see her go. She was just a large puppy to us who wanted to be cuddled and loved. So, in 2019, my friend purchased her and she now lives freely in her own land and has visitors from around the country. Everyone’s extremely eager to meet this friendly loving cow who gallops like a horse and runs around with her collar when she gets excited every single day. It’s been such a joy seeing how much she blossomed and how happy she is. It’s been a privilege to witness her transition and journey as well. I’m honestly super ecstatic that I also got to name her Nandi.
MY FAVOURITE ANIMAL PHOTO I HAVE TAKEN IS…
Currently my favourite photo I have taken is with a pelican who was affected by an oil spill in 2020. It’s my favourite because I was able to help with a tremendous initiative and learned quite a lot which I wouldn’t have been able to at my university. It was such an incredible experience and at that point, I truly felt as though I was on the path to achieving my goals.
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