A trained vet with experience working in a zoo and an animal rehabilitation center in Chile, Lisette Monardes chose to volunteer at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre because she was excited by the prospect of experiencing something completely different to what she was used to.

Four months into her stay at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, the general animal care work has been the most rewarding for Lisette.

“I got to assist with anaesthetising animals at the centre for clinical exams. The highlight was participating in the transfer of Usiku, the hyena, to his new home in Zimbabwe. I was involved in a lot of his monitoring. Because of Usiku’s long period in captivity – in fact since he was very young – he couldn’t be released back into the wild as he didn’t have the skills to find his own food or other traits he’d need to survive. But hyenas are social animals – companionship is absolutely crucial to their welfare and happiness – so there was only so long he could live by himself at the centre.”

Lilongwe Wildlife Trust has worked hard to try and find him a home with another hyena so getting to witness his joy of being reunited with another of his species was magical!

Lisette is returning to a job back in Chile, but has plans to explore vet externship opportunities in other countries as well.

We are thrilled Lisette enjoyed her time with us. If you’re interested in an experience like Lisette, explore ways to volunteer with us.