Tracking elephants and rhino on safari through the South African savannah is all in a day’s work for the students from Cornwall College Newquay, who’ve been taking time out of the classroom on a field trip to remember.
The group of students, all studying diplomas in Animal Management and Wildlife Conservation at the Cornwall College campus in Newquay, have described their trip to the Shamwari Game Reserve on the Eastern Cape of South Africa as ‘unforgettable’ and ‘enlightening’. Wildlife Conservation and Zoology lecturer Arlin Slater, said: “The two-week expedition to Shamwari was a real learning curve for students and staff alike. The students gained hands-on experience working on a big reserve picking up key field skills that help to reinforce the theory that is taught at the College.
“Every day was different from the last and just as unforgettable. A few of these experiences included rhino and elephant tracking, bird surveys, invasive species management, predator monitoring and night patrols. One of the major highlights for the students was being involved in a passive netting game capture; this is where the reserve has a mass capture of game to relocate to other reserves to swap diversity within gene pools. This was a full staff effort and a privilege for students to get involved in.”
During the trip, the group helped to support some of the numerous conservation projects alongside Shamwari’s award winning conservation team, assisting with day-to-day conservation activities, research projects and getting hands-on building roads, clearing invasive species and offering their help within the local communities. Animal Management student Julia Brown said: “I had the best time ever at Shamwari. I learned a lot and met some great people. Can’t wait to go back when I can!”
Fellow student Ellie Brian added: “I had the most unforgettable time and the memories will last a life time. It is by far the best two weeks I’ve ever had and I can’t recommend the trip enough.”