South Yorkshire animal care students excited to visit Africa
Eight students from Rotherham College's HNC Animal Care course are due to travel to Africa for two weeks in July as a unique learning opportunity for their course.
Their tutor Jacqueline Moore has arranged to visit the Kwantu Private Game Reserve as part of the Africa Big 5 project which consists of the five greatest wild animals of Africa which are elephants, lions, rhino, leopards and Cape buffalo.
The reserve is known for its dedication to conservation and the environment. All of the work is aimed at improving conditions for the wildlife. The reserve is about 6,000 acres and includes a clinic, an elephant sanctuary and the safari. As well as the Big 5 there are also zebra, hippos, giraffes, monkeys and baboons to name a few as well as 250 species of birds and a vast array of plant life. Volunteers work with local guides to fully immerse themselves in the life of an Assistant Game Ranger on the Big 5 reserve.
The tasks given to the volunteers are always changing due to the demands of the reserve, and include lion tracking and monitoring, game drives and counts, predator care and interaction, fence patrol, repairs and maintenance, animal management and counts, game captures, tree planting and landscaping and the removal of alien vegetation.
The guides provide plenty of assistance and knowledge throughout the experience and the volunteers gain a good knowledge of the science behind maintaining a reserve for example monitoring the vegetation species and animal species numbers to keep the balance.
The students will also take part in the vet programme which has been arranged as a bespoke part of their trip so they can practice caring for exotic animals they wouldn’t usually get to treat.
The students had a presentation on Monday 24th April from a representative from Oyster Worldwide, a travel organisation who specialise in organising volunteers and paid workers abroad. The guest speaker explained where the students will be staying, what they will need for the trip, what to expect and what activities they will be taking part in.
The students will be staying in spacious five star backpacking dorms on the reserve during their stay, facilities on the reserve include an outdoor pool, a cricket pitch, a spa and the on-site shop. Three meals will be provided every day from the same catering service who provide the food for the luxury safari guests and at weekends they will have the opportunity to explore nearby locations such as Port Elizabeth.
The visit from Oyster was concluded by some fun activities and presentations from the students on different topics they’d been asked to research to increase their cultural knowledge about Africa, some of the topics included information about the reserve, the history of Nelson Mandela and African customs.
The students and their tutor are extremely excited about their upcoming trip. One of the students, Simon, commented “I’m looking forward to working with the different species of wildlife in a different setting to what is in Britain.”
For more information about Animal Care courses at Rotherham College please call 01709 722777 or email [email protected]