Hooo-Hooo Volume 10, nr 4 - Page 26

WildLife Group of the SAVA Wildlife Experience South Africa 2016 Julian Keles I am Julian (25) from Germany, studying in my fifth year at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna in Austria. 
Currently I’m having the pleasure of doing a 13 week clinical rotation at Onderstepoort Campus in Pretoria. 
I applied at OP in South Africa not only because of its excellent reputation but because of my strong interest in Wildlife Medicine and Conservation. Prior to my arrival I had contacted Dr Katja Koeppel from OP’s Wildlife Department in order to assist me with wildlife experiences during my stay.
 Other than back home where we only study the anatomy of domestic animals such as cats, dogs, pigs, cattle and horses. I got to attend Prof Hornsveld’s lecture about the anatomy of the bufallo, elephant and Impala with its clinical importance. Meanwhile I had the chance to assist Dr Koeppel in her fieldwork as well as join her wildlife elective students on a fieldtrip to Castle de Wildt with a focus on Game Ranch Management and Nutrition.
 Being 26 instructed by her I got to experience a wide range of tasks such as monitoring a tiger and jaguar anesthesia as well as performing a post mortem on a meerkat at a private zoo in Johannesburg. We drove to a private game park to do nyala game capture and to relocate them to another camp.
 A very important part of the profession as a wildlife vet is the overlap of wild animals, domestic animals and humans. Zoonotic diseases which can spread from animals to humans, such as rabie,s have to be targeted to preventively take care of captive and wild animal populations in order for them to not get infected. Using polesyringe and dartgun we spent half a day vaccinating lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, servals and tigers in a private game park. Planning a hormone therapy for a giraffe bull to treat repetitive behaviour, can be seen in many captive animals, was part of the work too.