Suburban Safari

Senior With Thirty One Animals Reflects On Love Of Pets, Passion to Pursue Career in Animals

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Suburban Safari

Senior Natalia Peck takes a picture with her pet tortoise, Jenga. According to Peck, animals have always been a love of hers, and she cannot recall ever wanting a job that did not deal with animals, and is currently working in reptile husbandry at the Austin Aquarium.
“I have wanted to work at the aquarium since I was thirteen,” Peck said. “I wasn’t old enough to work there until I was sixteen last year. I met a really good friend of mine who was working there, and she took me to my first interview there. I wouldn’t have been brave enough to get that job on my own. I work in reptile husbandry, so I take care of the cold blooded reptiles, which are one of my favorite things ever.

Senior Natalia Peck takes a picture with her pet tortoise, Jenga. According to Peck, animals have always been a love of hers, and she cannot recall ever wanting a job that did not deal with animals, and is currently working in reptile husbandry at the Austin Aquarium. “I have wanted to work at the aquarium since I was thirteen,” Peck said. “I wasn’t old enough to work there until I was sixteen last year. I met a really good friend of mine who was working there, and she took me to my first interview there. I wouldn’t have been brave enough to get that job on my own. I work in reptile husbandry, so I take care of the cold blooded reptiles, which are one of my favorite things ever."

Photo Courtesy of Natalia Peck

Senior Natalia Peck takes a picture with her pet tortoise, Jenga. According to Peck, animals have always been a love of hers, and she cannot recall ever wanting a job that did not deal with animals, and is currently working in reptile husbandry at the Austin Aquarium. “I have wanted to work at the aquarium since I was thirteen,” Peck said. “I wasn’t old enough to work there until I was sixteen last year. I met a really good friend of mine who was working there, and she took me to my first interview there. I wouldn’t have been brave enough to get that job on my own. I work in reptile husbandry, so I take care of the cold blooded reptiles, which are one of my favorite things ever."

Photo Courtesy of Natalia Peck

Photo Courtesy of Natalia Peck

Senior Natalia Peck takes a picture with her pet tortoise, Jenga. According to Peck, animals have always been a love of hers, and she cannot recall ever wanting a job that did not deal with animals, and is currently working in reptile husbandry at the Austin Aquarium. “I have wanted to work at the aquarium since I was thirteen,” Peck said. “I wasn’t old enough to work there until I was sixteen last year. I met a really good friend of mine who was working there, and she took me to my first interview there. I wouldn’t have been brave enough to get that job on my own. I work in reptile husbandry, so I take care of the cold blooded reptiles, which are one of my favorite things ever."

Kieren Garner, Reporter

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It’s not uncommon for the average household to have a dog or a cat, or even a fish. But senior Natalia Peck is the proud owner to thirty one animals, ranging from the average dog, to eight legged creatures and animals with no legs at all.

According to Peck, animals have always been a love of hers, and she cannot recall ever wanting a job that did not deal with animals, and is currently working with reptiles at the Austin Aquarium.

“I have wanted to work at the aquarium since I was thirteen,” Peck said. “I wasn’t old enough to work there until I was sixteen last year. I met a really good friend of mine who was working there, and she took me to my first interview there. I wouldn’t have been brave enough to get that job on my own. I work in reptile husbandry, so I take care of the cold blooded reptiles, which are one of my favorite things ever.”

Instead of driving by an injured animal and ignoring it, Peck said that she tries to rescue any animal in need.

“I rescue animals when I know that I am able to,” Peck said. “If I know that the animal exceeds my expertise area, I take them to a rescue center. I recently took an adult road runner that had been hit by a car to a rescue center, and it totally impacted what I want to do in the future. After taking him there, I realized that I want to work in Wildlife Rehabilitation.”

While Peck said that she loves all of her animals, she does not have a favorite.

“I don’t really have a favorite animal,” Peck said. “They all deserve the same care, but I really love my lizards, I think that they are the most personable.”

Peck, who has over two dozen animals, says that it can definitely be a struggle to handle them all.

“When reptiles get sick they don’t show symptoms until it’s too late. Exotic animal vets are a hit or miss because reptiles are so difficult. I have had more luck saving fish than sick reptiles. It sucks sometimes because I want to save everything, but I can’t always do that. So to prevent sickness, I always have to be on top of their care. I check on them every morning and as soon as I get home. Once a week I’ll have a cleaning day where I change substrate, clean glass, do check ups, scrub water bowls and more. Now it’s just a routine to me, so it usually just takes an hour and a half.”