This 3-week courses offers participants the opportunity to work alongside wildlife professionals on a stunning game reserve on the Garden Route, South Africa. You will learn about, and actively take part in, treating animals for injuries, disease and get to take DNA samples for research. You will also be involved in capture operations for breeding purposes and population management.
Throughout your stay, you will receive theoretical and practical knowledge on wildlife capture and wildlife medicine. Through hands-on experience, you will learn to treat and move wildlife with the least stress, gain the necessary knowledge and confidence to treat and capture animals in zoo’s and reserves all over the world, and be part of wildlife conservation efforts that are saving animals from extinction through population management, breeding and genetic diversity.
During the course, you will go through theoretical and practical information including:
- Legal and ethical considerations when doing wildlife work in South Africa
- Basic physiology
- Basic and applied pharmacology
- Stress and capture-related animal death
- Safety and first aid in the field
- Principles of chemical and physical restraint of wild animals
- Helicopter use in wildlife work
- Chemical immobilization and drug–injecting equipment
- Ballistics and projectile darting systems
- Dart projectors and other restraint tools
- Ancillary treatment in wildlife capture and care
- Capture and transport of wildlife animals
- Post-capture boma management
You will also be involved in practical exercises such as:
- Rifle safety and basic operation
- Dart-gun target practice and virtual darting simulations
- Radio communication and telemetry training to track collared animals
- Roping of animals like giraffe and rhino
- Injections SQ/IM/IV
- Pre-capture planning exercises
- Loading and unloading of animals
- Record keeping exercises for DNA, tags, horn measurements, etc.
- Helicopter orientation and darting a moving target from the helicopter
Note: This program is designed for people either already qualified as vets, veterinary nurses or someone that is in the process of studying.