Vet students in Africa conservation experience

Friday, 31 May 2013

A group of final-year Veterinary Science students at the University of Adelaide are travelling to South Africa to learn about conservation medicine from some of the world's leading experts in the field.

Twelve Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students will spend two weeks at the remote Terra Luna research farm near Nelspruit in South Africa.

They will do a course covering all aspects of conservation medicine and get hands-on practical experience handling African wildlife and the health and tropical disease issues at the wildlife / human / livestock interface.

"This is an opportunity of a lifetime for these students," says Dr Wayne Boardman, University of Adelaide wildlife veterinarian and lecturer, who will supervise the students.

"This will be a unique learning experience for them, seeing first-hand wildlife conservation issues and giving them the chance to put their learning into practice in this fantastic conservation environment."

The students will learn about wildlife management and diseases, anaesthesia of many African species, take part in rhinoceros dehorning for conservation purposes and provide assistance to the Nsikazi Community Project, a project that helps to support families and their livelihoods on the edge of national parks.

They will also visit projects with South Africa's famous Kruger National Park and will be working alongside South African wildlife veterinarians including Dr Cobus Raath, one of the world's most famous wildlife vets.

"Learning in small groups like this is essential in veterinary study. It's not just the interaction with the teachers, but also with the animals. That creates an indelible learning experience," says Dr Boardman.

"The conservation of biodiversity is becoming a much higher priority globally. This experience, on top of the broad proficiencies they've gained during the veterinary course will provide valuable exposure to this growing area of professional practice.

"With climate change and the loss of biodiversity in ecosystems around the world, universities are working closer than ever with zoos and other conservation organisations to protect our species."

The University of Adelaide has South Australia's only Veterinary Science course, run at its Roseworthy Campus. It started in 2008 and this group of students will be the first to graduate at the end of the year.


Contact Details

Dr Wayne Boardman
PhD candidate and Wildlife veterinarian
School of Biological Sciences and School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8313 1246
Mobile: +61 467 726 176

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0814