The “Introduction to Wildlife Medicine” Course is presented to veterinary students. It touches on all aspects of conservation medicine, and comprises of about 20 hours of lectures, 20 hours of conservation orientated excursions and 40 hours of practical hands on experience, on our research farm, Ngongoni, and with many of our clients. Since 1997, we have had over 2000 students from 22 different countries attending our courses. Hands on experience will always remain important to students, and we go out of our way to ensure that our students get enough, under the supervision of our resident practice veterinarian. Call-outs obviously receive priority. Irrespective of the procedure, and guided only by safety aspects, students will participate in procedures like animal restraint, catheter placement, monitoring, administration of drugs, small surgery etc.
The tasks will be rotated between students to allow for maximum exposure, and with group sizes limited to fourteen, most students get ample opportunity. To maximize the benefit of clinical procedures, they are always accompanied by a preparation lecture and a good discussion afterwards. Students are invited to participate. Time is also dedicated to specific topics of relevance, diseases, management and controversial aspects such as culling and contraception, and this often leads to interesting debates. Global issues are addressed and students are stimulated to think, express and defend their opinions.
To expand the experience we visit several projects such as disease free buffalo breeding projects, crocodile breeding farms, the Maholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Jessica the Hippo, Elephant Whispers, as well as the Kruger National Park. We also have guest lecturers like Professor Leon Prozesky from Onderstepoort who deals with pathology and post mortems, and a local reptile expert, to discuss local species.
- Applied physiology, pharmacology and drugs used in wildlife;
- Various techniques and capture methods for different species;
- Principles of Conservation Medicine and Practical implementation methods;
- Diseases of wildlife and implications at the interface, and adaptive management strategies;
- The structure of conservation and veterinary services in Southern Africa;
- The principles of sustainable utilization, culling, hunting and wildlife production;
- Wildlife products, black markets and CITES;
- The roles of Animal Rehabilitation Centres and Zoos;
- Animal rights organizations, their role and perceived threats;
- The management of system health vs. individual animal medicine, incorporating
veterinary medicine & public health;
- Global assets and authorities;
- The role of a veterinarian in the team against planetary threats;
- Research protocol preparation, data collection and data capture.
All fees must be paid in full before the specific course commences. Reservations are based on first come, first serve basis. $50.00 US surcharge per vegetarian, per course. Vegans need not apply as our facilities can simply not prepare meals for vegans as the vegan dietary requirements are beyond our abilities. We are remotely located and our suppliers do not stock all the necessary meal replacements a vegan diet would require.
Pick up and drop off at Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport (KMIA) OR City Bug bus stop in Nelspruit;
Accommodation and meals at Source Tree Lodge;
All equipment and drugs used during the course;
Transportation to and from captures, callouts and outings;
Gate and entrance fees at Parks and institutions;
All accommodation and food costs should it be necessary to sleep away during the course;
A comprehensive set of digital notes;