Working with Wildlife on the Vet Experience Program

The world is now full of zoos, wildlife sanctuaries and protected national parks whose main purpose is to treat and defend those that are in true need of human intervention. It is a controversial topic but regardless of personal opinion, the fact remains that qualified veterinarians are vital to maintaining the health and welfare of all captive animals.

Many pre-vet and vet students are interested in learning about wildlife at one point or another- the thrill of a lion capture, the joy of nursing a new-born bunny, the love of a rehabilitated barn owl… it certainly sounds exciting (and Instagram-worthy) but there’s no way to know what it’s really like until you’ve tried it. The wildlife aspect of the Vet Experience Program includes game capture & relocation, reptile handling & education, zoo enrichment projects, and treatment of any other species that walk through our door. Here’s how it works: Volunteers: gain practical experience with a variety of species, learn about their management (food, housing, enrichment, etc.) requirements, and discover the common diseases & injuries that affect them.

  • Volunteers: gain practical experience with a variety of species, learn about their management (food, housing, enrichment, etc.) requirements, and discover the common diseases & injuries that affect them.
  • Animals: Game capture involves tranquilizing (and usually relocating) big game animals- more information about how and why can be found here. We also have a dedicated Game Capture Program, which involves 2 intensive weeks of capture. Reptile handling allows students to gain practical experience with a wide range of species while the sanctuary receives regular vet visits. Enrichment is essential for the welfare of zoo animals, especially in our local under-funded East London Zoo. Our clinic sees all shapes and sizes- you have to be ready for anything in South Africa!