Abbey R

USA | July 2017

The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary is a very special place, devoted to the care and well-being of the animals that live there.

While at the sanctuary I was able to participate in almost all of the activities it had to offer; including research, carnivore feeding, baby animal care, food prep, baboon walks, game counts and so much more!

The coordinators were so devoted to their jobs and the animals. They made every activity one to be excited about, even enclosure cleaning! My favorite activities were baby care and project work because I felt like I was directly influencing the lives of those animals.

While on baby care I became best friends with a baby warthog named Spekkie. If I was ever missing home I’d just go and hang out with him for a little bit, and he would make me feel so much better! We would feed the babies three times a day, weigh them to make sure they’re growing at a healthy rate, and wash their blankets.

While doing project work I helped build a bridge made of natural wood for the genets, I dug holes for the baboons to play in, and I helped fix a shelter for the tortoises. It was so cool to actually see my hard work be put to good use by the animals.

I also had the opportunity to visit the project's carnivore research sites as part of their Cheetah & Carnivore Research Programme. I went to both desert sites for a week each. Both are located in southern Namibia and I loved them so much! They were definitely a highlight of my stay in Namibia. At the sites we did a lot of research on the human-carnivore conflict: we set camera traps, fed the cheetahs that are at the research sites, and even put out a cage trap and caught a leopard that was killing a farmer’s sheep. The leopard was relocated and released. It was amazing to be an active participant in mediating the human-wildlife conflict! We were even given the opportunity to go to Sossusvlei, where we got to climb to the top of the tallest sand dune in Namibia (hands down the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but so worth it!).

The sanctuary and the research sites all had so much to offer, and I would recommend this program to anyone who is dedicated to helping animals, but is also ready to work hard and get their hands dirty!

Click the links for more information about the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary, or for the Cheetah & Carnivore Research Programme.

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