In summer 2022, Veterinary Nursing students at Writtle University College will have an opportunity to visit the Welgevonden Game Reserve in South Africa.
The 36,000ha area is part of the internationally recognised UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere Reserve and is home to over 65 mammal and 300 bird species including the 'Big Five'; lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants and buffaloes.
Students will spend two weeks at the Welgevonden Biomonitoring Programme's research camp, where they will take part in conservation work and support veterinary interventions.
The project was established in 2015 and records changes in the reserve's ecosystem. The camp's scientists work on tasks such as monitoring leopards and smaller, meso-predators with strategically placed cameras.
Lecturer Vicki Salvage said: "At Writtle University College we're committed to offering our students opportunities for hands-on learning. Welgevonden Biomonitoring Programme covers a wide range of projects, from monitoring herd dynamics to animal conditions. This is a fantastic chance for our students to study conservation techniques and put science into practice."
The popular annual trip was temporarily suspended while Covid-restrictions were in force so, in 2022, the University College will hold two visits - one starting in May and a second in July - to allow current students and recent graduates to get involved.
Second year student Rosie said: "I'm really looking forward to being in South Africa and learning about Veterinary Nursing from a wildlife perspective."
For more information on Veterinary Nursing Apprenticeships, go to writtle.ac.uk/Apprenticeships-courses.