Ever wanted to dart a lion or assist with the relocation of a giraffe? Whether you are a veterinary science student looking to do your practical hours or a qualified vet working in the industry looking for a course to improve your skillset, the Vets Go Wild programme offer the perfect solution.
Launched in 2008, this conservation based veterinary module provides the practical and theoretical experience in an African context. It is one of the programmes offered by Worldwide Experience, a company offering ethical conservation volunteer options.
There are plenty of reasons to select this course for your practical hours or additional experience. Apart from the course being endorsed by universities internationally, it also meets extra mural study requirements.
Bianca Eke, conservation experience consultant at Worldwide Experience says “the course gives them further experience, confidence and knowledge in the field of wildlife medicine and diversifies their veterinary portfolio.”
There are two options available to anyone keen in attending the Vets Go Wild module – a course stretching over 12 or 16 days. The Vets Go Wild programme is based in the Amakhala Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, under the watchful eye of Dr William Fowlds, an experienced vet in the conservation field. The majority of the practical procedures take place in surrounding nature reserves and parks.
The module includes plenty of practical experience, which is not true for all courses. These practical elements may include game capture, game translocation, the reintroduction of species into reserves, diagnosing and treating diseases, animal husbandry at the Born Free Rescue and Education Centre, predator monitoring and much more.
Some of the feedback from previous Vets Go Wild programme attendees includes learning how to remain calm under pressure. Another candidate who has attended other veterinary courses pointed out that the Vets Go Wild course is the best because of the large amount of hands-on experience. Ann Orrsten from Sweden who joined in 2016 pointed out how brilliant Vets Go Wild is for first-time visitors to South Africa as the course includes game drives and excursions between the theoretical and practical experience.
The course is so comprehensive that many students return again. “We have interns who return after their Vets Go Wild course each year to work with Dr Fowlds. The facilitator of Vets Go Wild and the vet employed by Dr Fowlds is actually a Vets Go Wild student who returned for an internship and was thereafter employed full time,” says Eke.
The Vets Go Wild course runs between June and August every year. The 12-day module has two scheduled dates in 2020 while the longer course has three options available.
The cost for the 16-day course is £2 980 all inclusive. The price includes accommodation, laundry, three meals per day, transfers to the game reserve and all fieldwork and course materials. For more information visit www.worldwideexperience.com/vets-go-wild/
Written by René de Klerk
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