Animal Care Students Take Trip of a Lifetime
After 18 months of fundraising, five Animal Care students headed off on a two-week expedition to South Africa to participate in biodiversity surveys run by Operation Wallacea, a conservation research organisation.
Far from a holiday, the students were up and in lectures by 7:30am. They then spent their days taking part in a variety of surveys and counts, where all of the results feed into a larger database for elephant impact and destruction and diversity in South Africa. The surveys included vegetation, game transect and pylon, as well as bird and dung counts.
The group also used GPS to follow animal tracks. Through this tracking, the group saw a variety of animals including elephants, giraffes, wildebeest, warthogs, crocodiles, hippos, buffalo, bats, whales, turtles and monkeys. Guests speakers also spoke to the group about local herpetology and rhino conservation.
As well as taking part in international biodiversity research projects, the students also got the chance to become qualified open water and scuba divers.
The trip provided the students with the opportunity to work on a real-world research programme alongside academic researchers – an amazing experience for the start of their careers!