Jorge Luis Mercado Ortega


Jorge Luis Mercado Ortega, a proud alumnus of FMVZ-UNAM in Mexico, where he graduated in 2018, has since cultivated a profound career in veterinary and wildlife medicine. His journey in the field began with volunteer positions, including a three-month stint at Dolphin Discovery in the Riviera Maya, Mexico, in 2016-2017, and a month at the Parque Jaime Duque Zoo in Colombia in 2018. Jorge further enriched his hands-on experience by banding blue-footed boobies over two months each year in 2018 and 2019, alongside participating in numerous field courses focusing on wildlife medicine and monitoring.

Post-graduation, Jorge honed his skills in small animal clinics across Mexico before embarking on a 10-month externship at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) in Florida between 2019 and 2021. His leadership abilities shone through during his tenure as the head vet at the Belize Raptor Center in 2021, where he also facilitated online courses in Avian and Wildlife Medicine through Loop Abroad. In early 2022, Jorge expanded his veterinary knowledge by working with a poultry company, gaining a novel perspective on avian medicine.

Jorge joined the Toucan Rescue Ranch family as a Clinic Intern at our headquarters in mid-2022. Demonstrating exceptional competence and dedication, he quickly rose to the position of head vet at the Release Site by late 2022. At the Ranch, Jorge is tasked with managing the intake of most emergencies from the Limón, Alajuela, and Sarapiquí regions. He oversees the triage and stabilization of these cases and leads the rehabilitation efforts for our release candidates. Additionally, Jorge plays a crucial role in mentoring the next generation of vet students from around the globe who intern with us, ensuring they receive top-tier training and experience.