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ProVet Expedition

The ProVet Expedition (Veterinary Care of Wildlife in Africa) travels through northern and eastern regions of South Africa, exploring the unique wildlife management and health principles applied towards a sustainable future for both humans and wildlife.

 

In this program, you will meet with leading wildlife veterinarians and learn from the personal experiences of renowned experts in their respective fields.

 

Current issues in wildlife conservation

One of the field destinations, the Kruger National Park, will provide insight into two of Africa’s major wildlife challenges -

  • how to control the increasing numbers of the African elephant,

  • and what would be the most effective ways to address the increasing total onslaught on rhinos.

Embryo transfers in wildlife conservation

In endangered species, the process of artificial insemination and embryo transfer could play a vital role in the future. You will meet with experts at the forefront of this field.

 

Disease management

Wildlife Ecology forms the basis of understanding the spread and management of wildlife diseases, the diagnostics and pathology.  During your stay at a veterinary wildlife laboratory you will learn and participate hands-on in analytical, pathological and post-mortem investigations.

Game capture and relocation

The program includes 3-day game-capture program in wilderness areas. Wildlife veterinarians need to make informed decisions when wildlife management requires capture and relocation or care of wild animals.

You will be familiarized with the latest wildlife capture technology and participate in the mock darting of a moving target from a helicopter.

Ecosystems

It is important to know that in conservation there is no precisely repeatable pattern. Animal behavior is studied, while water utilization and game condition is reviewed. The distance identification of the symptoms of some common wildlife diseases, and the regulations on wildlife movements, form part of the course. Feed selection, parasites, nutrition and the principals of sustainable use of wildlife will also be studied.

Course Content

  • Rhinoceros and wildlife management/conservation and the role of veterinary science

  • Elephant management and the role of the veterinarian in population control

  • Priorities in and the handling of clinical wildlife veterinary cases

  • Maintaining wildlife genetics integrity and the functioning of the wildlife veterinary genetics laboratory

  • Managing the wildlife and particularly the overpopulation of elephant in Kruger National Park

  • Managing the vegetation ecology to the benefit of wildlife health in the Kruger National Park

  • The scope of running wildlife veterinary services in Kruger National Park

  • The red line and enzootic area management

  • Diseases shared by livestock and wildlife and zoonosis in the region

  • Applied wildlife parasitology

  • Wildlife post mortem and necropsy procedures

  • The pharmacological working of various capture drugs for wildlife

  • Different dartguns for different applications and applicable darts and propelling methods

  • Talks, discussions, demonstrations and hands-on participation in actual game capture operations for purposes of relocation, tagging, diagnostics, vaccination and disease or injury treatment

  • Wildlife conservation value of successful in vitro fertilisation and embryo transfers

Expedition Schedule

(Subject to revision)

 

Day 1

WELCOME TO SOUTH AFRICA!

Upon arrival at O.R.Tambo International Airport you will be welcomed by EcoLife representatives and transferred to the guest lodge. Welcoming dinner.

Accommodation: Guest Lodge

 

Day 2

After breakfast we start the day with two talks by your program director and former director of the Center for Wildlife Management at the University of Pretoria, Dr. Wouter van Hoven. The first will address Rhinoceros and wildlife management/conservation and the role of veterinary science. The second will explore Elephant management and the role of the veterinarian in population control.

Thereafter, we depart for the Vulpro Center for Vulture conservation for an introduction in the conservation of vultures and the threats that they experience in a developing country. Large facilities are present on the estate where the different vultures can be viewed and the degree of veterinary intervention discussed.

In the afternoon we visit the Veterinary School of the University of Pretoria for a guided tour.

Accommodation: Lodge in Nature Reserve

Credits: 4 CE credits

 

Day 3

We spend the day with a renowned veterinary surgeon specializing in wildlife embryo transfers, touring the laboratories.

Lecture: Wildlife conservation value of successful in vitro fertilization and embryo transfers.

Accommodation:  Lodge in Nature Reserve

Credits: 7 CE credits

 

Day 4

We visit the National Zoo in Pretoria where two zoo veterinarians will take us on a guided tour, including the Zoo Hospital, and conduct interventions as is required that day.

After lunch we travel to the , visiting the Rhino Orphanage en route. We travel through some beautiful landscapes and arrive in Malelane in the late afternoon.

Accommodation: River lodge

Credits: 2 CE credits

Day 5

We spend the morning with a veteran Kruger National Park ecologist who has an intimate understanding of this majestic five-million-acre park.

Lectures:

  • Management of wildlife and particularly the overpopulation of elephant in KNP

  • Management of vegetation ecology to the benefit of wildlife health in KNP.

After lunch we take a leisurely drive in the Southern section of Kruger Park while viewing the many wildlife species with ample opportunity for photography.

Accommodation: Chalets in KNP

Credits: 3 CE credits

Day 6

We check out after breakfast and start our long drive north through the park to the Olifants Rest Camp, which is situated above the Olifants River. We have a chance to view a wide variety of wildlife en-route.

Accommodation: Chalets in Olifants Restcamp, KNP

 

Day 7

We visit the Elephant museum at Letaba camp, and enjoy gameviewing on our way to a reserve in the Greater Kruger Park. Arrive at the Wildlife Disease Bush Laboratory where the next 3 days will be spent. The resident camp wildlife, such as the meerkats, are on hand to welcome new guests!

In the evening we will be informed about the bush camp, laboratory orientation and rehabilitation animals. Because of the remote location, comfortable tent accommodation will be provided. The area is also very good for bird watching along the Elephant River. And you may very well hear roaring lions and hooting baboons in the night from the safety of your tent!

Accommodation: Tented Bush Camp

 

Day 8 and 9

Talks, demonstrations, participation and learning about the veterinary side of wildlife management. We start with the Red line and enzootic area management, followed by Diseases shared by livestock and wildlife and zoonosis in the region and Applied wildlife parasitology.

Next is Wildlife post mortem and necropsy procedures, taking place in the bush, and upon return samples will be used in demonstrations and participation in bush laboratory procedures.

This evening we will enjoy a traditional fireside braai dinner – South African barbeque at its best!

Accommodation: Tented Bush Camp

Credits: 8 CE credits

Day 10-11

We depart early and travel to a rural African community cattle corral outside of the public protected areas. We are guests of the chief and are here to participate in the diagnostics, treatment and management of cattle as a social responsibility. In the afternoon we drive to the Swadini Nature Reserve, where we check in to the comfortable chalets and have time to swim in the warm pools and view wildlife of the area.

We also spend time with a non-profit organization tending to a rural community’s dogs and cats with a local veterinarian. In the afternoon we travel to the Loskop region, settling in at a wildlife lodge for the next 4 days.

Accommodation: Lodge

 

Day 12, 13 and 14

The next three days will involve talks, discussions, demonstrations and hands-on participation in actual game capture operations of various wildlife species for purposes of relocation, tagging, diagnostics, vaccination and disease or injury treatment. No animals will be captured for demonstration purposes; all activities will be actual needed actions, the nature of which is often determined on an on-call, same-day basis.

Each participant will have the opportunity for an individual helicopter flight, shooting with the dartgun at a moving target (non-animal).

On our final evening we celebrate with a farewell dinner and bush graduation ceremony.

Accommodation: Lodge

Credits: 7 CE credits

 

Day 15

Depart for O.R. Tambo International Airport.

 

 

Program costs and dates

US$4980 per person sharing, US$5400 single

 

Costs include:

  • Accommodation and transportation for the duration of the program

  • Airport transfers as stated

  • Lectures and course material

  • Permits and entry fees

  • All meals

  • Group activities

Excludes Air travel to and from South Africa & Optional activities

Scheduled departures for 2019

 

CODE             DATE

 PROVET10    August 25 – September 8

 PROVET11     September 15 – 29

 PROVET12    October 6 – 20

 PROVET13    October 13 – 27

 PROVET14    October 27 – November 10