Introduction to Wildlife Conservation Medicine

Course Overview

This unique course allows you to experience adrenaline filled veterinary procedures on some of Africa’s iconic species. Witness and be a part of conservation in action as you assist a skilled and experienced veterinarian with wildlife capture, animal translocation, wildlife anaesthesia as well as a variety of other veterinary procedures.

No two days are ever the same on this exhilarating course as the wildlife casualties and clinical work cannot be predicted. One day you may be carrying out routine health inspections on a herd of wildebeest and the next you may be fitting a satellite tracking collar to an elephant or lion. The 13 day hands-on course is supplemented with lectures on a variety of subjects, including; wildlife medicine, diseases and chemical immobilisation as well as conservation topics covering rhino poaching and wildlife management principles.

If that doesn’t sound exciting enough, you will also get the opportunity to simulate your darting skills, both from the ground and from a helicopter. Furthermore, you will also have the opportunity to visit some world-renowned rehabilitation centres, the famous Kruger National Park and a day trip through the scenic Panorama Route, through the majestic Drakensberg Mountains.

What can you expect?

As we are situated in the heart of the South African Lowveld, we are able to work on a vast array of iconic African species including leopards, lions, buffalo, elephants, sable, eland and everything in-between. Our work is based mainly on emergency response, which makes it difficult to guarantee a particular activity and the species that will be worked on. However, we endeavour to cover the following aspects:

Wildlife translocation
Mass game capture
Wildlife anaesthesia and reversals
Treatment of sick or injured wildlife
Removal of snares
Rhino dehorning
Disease testing
General herd health assessment
Routine procedures (e.g. weaning, ear tagging, micro-chipping, horn measurements etc.)
Parasite control (e.g. dipping, deworming, faecal egg counts)
Animal restraint
Catheter placement
Administration of drugs
Small surgery

In addition to the hands-on experience, we believe in supplementing the course with interesting lectures, discussions and debates to give the students a well-rounded understanding. Some of the topics covered include:

Wildlife pharmacology and chemical immobilization
Various capture techniques
South African wildlife diseases and their role in the industry

We also want our students to gain a greater understanding of conservation as a whole (and have some time to relax and enjoy a bit of South Africa’s world famous tourism), so we include as many of the following excursions as possible:

Kruger National Park excursion
Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre
Panaroma Route (Drakensberg Mountains and Blyde River Canyon (the third largest canyon in the world)

In addition, the following practicals are always included in the course:

Wildlife necropsy
Wildlife darting equipment (e.g. various types of darts and dart guns)
Dart gun handling and target practice on the ground
Target practice with a paintball gun from inside a helicopter

Camp life, prices & dates

In terms of accommodation, students will stay in mixed sex chalets (5 per room) with shared bathroom facilities. All rooms have electricity and hot and cold running water.

We will supply 3 meals per day. The food typically consists of western cuisine.

The course is $4000.00 (US dollars).

The price includes:

Transfers to/from Kruger Mpumalanga International airport
Transfers to all set operations, parks and rehabs
Entrances at set parks and rehabs
Course notes

The price excludes the following:

Personal travel Insurance
Any visa costs
Alcoholic drinks
Personal gifts

The remaining dates for 2020 are as follows:

3rd - 16th May
26th July - 8th August