In March eight students from Rotherham College had the amazing opportunity to visit South Africa for two weeks as part of their Higher Education course in Animal Care.
Their tutor, Jacqueline Moore, arranged for them to visit the Kwantu Private Game Reserve in South Africa located in the Eastern Cape as part of the Africa Big 5 project which consists of the five greatest wild animals of Africa; elephants, lions, rhino, leopards and Cape buffalo. 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.
The reserve has about 6,000 acres and includes a clinic, an elephant sanctuary and the safari and is known for its dedication to conservation and the environment. Volunteers work with local guides to fully immerse themselves in the life of an Assistant Game Ranger on the Big 5 reserve.
The tasks the students were given changed constantly due to the demands of the reserve, some of the activities included lion tracking and monitoring, predator care and interaction, fence patrol, repairs and maintenance, animal management, game drives and counts, game captures, tree planting and landscaping and the removal of alien vegetation.
The students also took part in the vet programme which had been arranged as a bespoke part of their trip so they could practice caring for exotic animals they wouldn’t usually get to treat.
A group of students including Marcus Link, Caitlin Booker, Bradley Marr, Ruth Sinclaire and Jade Mallett commented “Our favourite part of the trip was tree chopping and removing the alien vegetation.”
“It was great being outdoors all the time. It was a good experience and we really enjoyed it, we’re staying on next year and wanting to go on the trip again.”
For more information about Animal Care courses at Rotherham College please call 01709 722777 or visit www.rotherham.ac.uk