African Exotic Animal Rehabilitation and Conservation

This gallery highlights my month of service in Namibia, Africa in the Kalahari Desert.
Cheetah conservation
Cheetah conservation

I spent lot of my time in Africa helping with Cheetah conservation. I took classes teaching me about Cheetah behavior, habitats, diets, and more. We rescued cheetahs that were un-releaseable and others that just needed to be relocated.

Caracal Walks
Caracal Walks

One of the most fun chores at the conservation center was taking the caracals for walks. These caracals are too desensitized to humans that they were unable to be released. From them, I learned a lot about how important it is to keep wildlife where they belong.

Caracal Care
Caracal Care

These baby caracals lost limbs as a result of their mother being stressed by captivity. They taught us all a great lesson about the risks of holding animals in captivity, even for a short period of time, and they especially sparked a discussion of how to safely rehabilitate, care for, and release wildlife.

Cheetah conservation
Cheetah conservation

I spent lot of my time in Africa helping with Cheetah conservation. I took classes teaching me about Cheetah behavior, habitats, diets, and more. We rescued cheetahs that were un-releaseable and others that just needed to be relocated.

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The summer before senior year at Vanderbilt University (summer 2011), I used my $5,000 stipend from my Chancellor's Full Tuition Scholarship to explore animal conservation in Namibia, Africa.

A pre-veterinary student with the desire to work with farm animals, I wanted to explore another realm of veterinary medicine: exotics. My Chancellor's Scholars project focused on that desire, integrating other goals of cultural immersion, exploration of a new continent, and intensification of  my passion for service work. I spent one month living in Namibia in the Kalahari Desert. There, I promoted nature conservation, discovered African veterinary medicine practices, mediated with farmers for species preservation, actively discouraged poachers, hand-reared orphaned animals, and cared for exotics which were either 'un-releaseable' or being prepared for release.

I uncovered the startling similarities and differences between my life and the lives of Namibian bushmen. Furthermore, I made global contacts with fellow volunteers and prospective veterinary students. In just four weeks, I was further persuaded to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. More importantly, I recognized the importance of a life which harmonizes the traditional workforce with  international and community service.

For a complete account of time in Africa, please check out my blog:  http://maggieinnamibia.weebly.com/