African countries have created national parks and sanctuaries in an effort to conserve biodiversity. Many national parks operate without a focus on health – a critical component in the conservation of wildlife and wild places. There are many eager veterinarians with an interest in working as wildlife field veterinarians or in disease surveillance but they do not have the necessary skills and knowledge set. There is a clear need for a sustainable system to build veterinary capacity.

ConserVet introduces wildlife medicine within undergraduate veterinary programs by funding externships to encourage interested students to consider a career with wildlife. Select veterinarians have reliable and sustainable access to scholarships for internships and graduate degree programs in Wildlife Medicine.

The project is a partnership of the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, Docs4GreatApes, and The Mountain Gorilla Conservation Society of Canada in collaboration with Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Center (LPRC).

Dr. Eddy Kambale Syaluha, DRC

“Being a veterinarian is an amazing gift in my life.

Using my new scientific experience in wildlife health and management, I am striving to improve veterinary instruction in my country with young Congolese veterinary students and interns interested in conservation medicine. I am working hard to make a strong science-based future generation of veterinarians working with wildlife. I am convinced and strongly recommend that this important capacity building program should continue to help many young veterinarians in wildlife medicine and management. My country is in the heart of Africa, second largest forest after the Amazon and home of three of the great ape species (gorillas and chimpanzees as well as bonobos) and refuge of a very great and rare biodiversity.”

Dr. Jean Bosco Noheli, Rawanda

“My professional path has been successful and impactful because I had the chance to work with people who not only care about wildlife but also inspire and develop young professionals.

The master’s program in wildlife health and management was mainly to deepen our ability to handle clinical cases out in the field, efficiently contribute to the wildlife conservation in general and be able to train junior veterinarians with interest in wildlife medicine. After the program I continued with my role as a field veterinarian. Over the last two years, with the retirement of Dr. Cranfield, our long-time Director, it was time for me to help the Gorilla Doctors team fill that huge gap. I began to appreciate how much the program has impacted my professional growth. I now lead clinical interventions on mountain gorillas and other wild animals in need and I mentor young veterinarians on the aspects of wildlife medicine.”

Dr. Fred Nizeyimana, Uganda

“I am forever grateful for the scholarship contribution which so far has bettered my mountain gorilla health-care and related research, wildlife conservation and management skills.

The MSc has increased my philosophy and disease diagnostics for mountain gorillas and other wild animals—I have participated in giraffe translocation (moving from one area to another) and been involved with the post-mortem (autopsy) of other wild animals since. The course enabled me to appreciate One-Health practices, antimicrobial resistance and infectious disease management. This has enabled me to attend several workshops and seminars since and make presentations about my research topic “Antimicrobial resistance profiles of bacteria isolated from upper respiratory tract of humans having close contact with mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park” at the National Antimicrobial Resistance Conference and the African Primatology Society Conference.”

Support work like this today!

We cannot protect our closest-living relatives, the chimpanzees, or other wildlife without investing in leadership, education, and community-centred conservation.

Lwiro Primates Rehabilitation Center

Situated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in a small village called Lwiro, the Lwiro Primates Rehabilitation Center provides the best possible care to orphaned primates in DRC, while working to ensure their protection in the wild.

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