aware trustHaving attended the Malilangwe Drugs Course in February 2013 (a legal requirement for keeping valid Dangerous Drugs Licences), Keith and I felt that this Continuing Education should be financially accessible for all veterinarians working in the field in Zimbabwe. So it was an opportunity when Dr Norman Mukarati from the University of Zimbabwe approached us and asked us to partner with him and the Wildlife Veterinary Unit in organizing a modestly priced wildlife course specifically targeting working vets in the country. In addition to training in the chemical and physical immobilisation of wildlife, the 23 vets who attended (which included vets from Botswana and Zambia) had 2 days of wildlife disease lectures, and in-depth legislation and welfare lectures. AWARE facilitated the lecturing by esteemed wildlife veterinarians Dr Roy Bengis and Dr Cobus Raath. Dr Roy Bengis worked as the Chief State Vet in Kruger National Park for over forty years, and has won numerous awards for his contributions to the veterinary profession. Dr Cobus Raath was the head vet of Kruger’s capture team for over 10 years. He now owns Wildlife Pharmaceuticals, a company which develops drugs used in game capture, as well as his own wildlife consulting company. He runs similar courses in South Africa and has trained over 1000 vets from 120 different countries. Wildlife Pharmaceuticals co-sponsored the course, and we are extremely grateful to them. We are also grateful to the Lion and Cheetah Park who hosted the practical sessions. We look forward to making this successful course an annual event.

In July we hosted 6 very enthusiastic veterinary students from the UK and USA who had come to learn about wildlife work (and donkey work) on 2 and 3 week veterinary placements. UZ fifth year veterinary students have meanwhile been accompanying Erick on some of his donkey clinics to get some much needed equine experience in.

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By : Dr Lisa Marabini