Thanks for visiting my fundraising page! This summer from mid-July to mid-August I will be in Hoedspruit, South Africa, participating in a student programme at the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre, focusing on the cheetah. The student programme is designed to offer a broad range of wildlife education and experience for young adults between 18-35, and is a mix of conservation by hands-on work as well as informal lectures and sight seeing.
The Centre focuses on the conservation and rehabilitation of indigenous wildlife, specifically rare, vulnerable and endangered animals. Their main focus is on cheetah conservation, and as most people would agree, how could I pass up the chance to work with big cats! The Centre is also highly involved in the education of nearby communities, dedicating many hours to volunteering with local schools.
My duties as a member of the student programme would last three weeks, during which I would get extensive hands-on experience with cleaning, feeding, and on occasion observing/aiding in any veterinary activities that may come up. Other activities involve tranquilising animals if necessary, taking tissue and blood samples for analysis, tuberculosis testing in wild animals, and I've even heard whispers of postmortems. Finally, for the cute-factor, students of the past have gotten to hand-rear an elephant, white rhinos, zebra and other adorable small creatures.
I'm very passionate about this programme as I've been eagerly keeping an eye on it for a few years now, just waiting to be the right age. I hope you'll find this cause interesting, and I would of course be taking as many photos as humanly possible. The money raised here goes directly to funding the cost of participating in the programme, and I think you will agree with me that the conservation of South Africa's delicate and threatened wildlife is a cause that can't be taken lightly. Next October I begin my second year at Durham University, and I've made the decision to complete my Bsc. Biology with a zoology specialisation. Participation at the Hoedespruit Centre would be not only the experience of a life time, but a very valuable use of my summer to gain the kind of understanding that can't be achieved simply in lectures.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read all of this, and I guarantee adorable photos of me holding baby cheetahs for everyone! Your donation means the world to me.
(P.S. - does anyone remember my cheetah-print clothing phase? I'm sure there are many embarassing photos floating around out there!)
If you'd like to check our their website, you can find it at:
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