Our June course wrapped up this week, and what a week it was! The 8 day intensive course was let by our WERU vet, Dr. Amanda Salb, who took all six participants through a journey of what it’s like to be a wildlife vet here in Malawi, teaching them her valuable expertise along the way.
Participants were given a full introduction to Malawi and Lilongwe Wildlife Trust’s sanctuary for orphaned and injured wildlife and the following morning, the learning curve began.
Lectures were given about a whole host of topics including parasitology, haematology & pharmacology, primate infectious & non-infectious diseases, emergency management, husbandry, and primate behaviour. And once taught in the classroom, the practical sessions went ahead in full swing so that participants could learn about being a wildlife vet first hand.
First up, our aspiring wildlife vets got up close and personal to our resident African Rock Python, Henry. All 4.2 metres of him! Course leader Dr. Amanda Salb gave a lesson in snake health checks and our participants learned how to examine the mouth, weighed him, measured him and took blood for testing. And the group have many more practical sessions to look forward to in the days to come!
Our vet course participants were then able to assist with the health checks of one of our vervet monkey troops. Split into two groups, they were able to give a needed once over to the entire troop, helping with monitoring, blood samples, vaccinations and general body condition examinations. A great learning curve!
The teaching course came to an end in Lilongwe, but not before our participants had the chance to test their aim with a dart gun! A fun and informative lesson was given by course leader Dr Amanda Salb and she must be a good teacher as their attempts were right on target. Well, most of them!
KUTI & THE LAKE
Of course, no trip to Malawi is complete without experiencing the African ‘bush’ and the famous lake of stars… Dr Salb took the group over to Kuti, a wildlife reserve a short drive away from the city to learn about releases and see the beauty of Malawi. After an evening around a camp fire telling stories and reliving the course experience, they had a real taste of bush life falling asleep to the sounds of hyaenas and frogs. The next day was spent at nearby Senga Bay, a picturesque part of Lake Malawi. The group got to chill out on the beach and rest after their busy course – a perfect way to end the experience!
A FINAL THANKS
A big thanks to all our vet course participants for being such good sports and getting stuck into all the lectures and practicals with great enthusiasm. We feel it’s been a real success and we hope that you’ve taken away lots of new found knowledge, skills, friends and a love for Malawi.