Many of the women portrayed in “ABC’s Like A Girl” are based on real life role models that kids can look up to. A few weeks ago I came across the story of these two fantastic women, who I illustrated as an amalgam of one woman, a zoologist, caring for otters. In real life, both of these women do in fact work with otters at the Seattle Aquarium. They were part of a touching, and fascinating story involving a young sea otter named Mishka.
Mishka was having trouble breathing after wildfire smoke spread from the Eastern part of the state, into the area where she was living in the aquarium. Dr. Lahner, who is the staff veterinarian at the Seattle Aquarium was able to run tests on Mishka, and diagnose her with asthma.
Mishka is the first sea otter to be diagnosed with the respiratory disease, which is often triggered by airborne irritants and pollutants, such as the smoke from the wildfires. The women at the Seattle Aquarium didn’t stop there though, because Mishka was still struggling to breathe, and have a successful and happy time in the aquarium. Sara Perry, a biologist working at the aquarium began training Mishka to use an asthma inhaler to be able to take medicine when she was having a hard time breathing, and because of their team effort Mishka is doing better now, and is able to use an inhaler when she needs!
These women are the kind of role models kids need to see. Women passionate about their work, empathetic and caring, problem solvers who saw not just a problem, but a creature in need, and figured out a way to fix the problem, and help.