The Global Vets team in East Africa are starting their adventure in Malawi at a wildlife centre. Find out all about their volunteer experience helping the local animals.
Feed the animals
June 1 2012
We have been volunteering at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre now for a few days and are enjoying seeing all of the animals. The goal of the Centre is to rehabilitate wild animals so that they can eventually be released back into the wild. Currently, the centre has a variety of animals – a lion, leopard, porcupine, python, crocodiles, tortoises, as well as several colonies of monkeys (vervet monkeys, olive and yellow baboons, and blue monkeys). We have been learning how to care for them while they are in captivity, including: feeding, cleaning enclosures, and providing enrichment. My favourite part of the day is feeding time, as I am able to watch the monkeys collect their food and take it into the trees to eat. They really like bananas and pumpkin seeds the most!
June 5 2012
Today, we volunteered with the Lilongwe SPCA, who works to protect animals against cruelty and treat stray animals. Dr. Richard took us along in his mobile clinic, where we went to a small mud hut on the outskirts of Lilongwe. Here, we set up a few tables for surgery and waited for patients. People from the community brought their pets to the hut for us to medicate and spay/neuter. We were able to get some amazing hands-on experience with giving medication and monitoring animals while they were undergoing surgery. It was quite different from how surgeries are performed in Canada, as there were no special machines or monitoring equipment. As the day went on, we seemed to accumulate children that wanted to watch the procedures!
Monkeys, monkeys, monkeys!
June 8 2012
We had an amazing day today! Dr. Richard came to the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre to perform health checks on the quarantined vervet monkeys. First, we had to go into the enclosure, capture the monkeys, and sedate them. We were then able to take heart rates, give medications, and take measurements on the monkeys. We were very excited about being able to hold them! When we were done, we put the monkeys back and monitored them as they awoke from their sleep.
June 9 2012
We had another great day with Dr. Richard from the LSPCA. He took us in his mobile clinic to another rural area of Lilongwe, where we set up a table and unloaded the medications. Before we knew it, we had children lined up with chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigs, goats, sheep, cows, and donkeys. Our task was to perform physical examinations, give vaccinations, and treat any illnesses that we found. We had to treat a few wounds as well as fleas, ticks, and mites. It was an amazing experience for us and we really enjoyed one-on-one with both the animals and the people of the community!