From hand-raising cheetah cubs to caring for grown lions, Animal Behaviour and Welfare alumni Thomas Trew takes his University of Lincoln degree all the way to Africa.
Read his story here:
“I went straight to Namibia where I volunteered for a month at Harnas Wildlife Foundation. I cared for and rehabilitated injured and orphaned animals. It was a very hands on approach where I was able to interact with and have some incredible, very personal experiences with many different species of African wildlife.
“From hand-raising cheetah cubs that were orphaned after a farmer shot their mother (being a few days old they were far too young to fend for themselves and would have died in the wild) and sharing a bed with baby Chacma baboons which cling on close to you at night as they fear the dark (or more accurately the vulnerability of being in the dark); to caring for fully grown cheetahs, leopards and lions.
“I also helped with radio tracking successfully reintroduced cheetahs in the wild, to keep updated on their health and welfare. There were a great many things I did whilst there, and I came back with a lot of stories and a wealth of memories and experiences that will stay with me for life.
“I was hoping to go back out to Namibia to work at Harnas as a co-ordinator for volunteers, however due to a change in management my plans fell through and I wasn’t given the position. However I stayed determined to return to Africa, just with a different goal.
“I decided that whilst I loved the hands-on experience of wildlife conservation, the effects of my work were limited to the animals in my immediate vicinity; if I wanted to make a bigger difference, I had to work on a bigger scale. So I’ve decided to go down the path of Conservation scientific research.
Thomas has been successful in a job search and will be heading back out to Africa as a Project Manager and Research Assistant in the Guassa mountains of Ethiopia.
He will be conducting behavioural and ecological research on Gelada baboons in a year-long project.
“During my time in Ethiopia I will be camping in the mountains the Gelada baboons inhabit at around 3600m above sea level. The research I am conducting is part of an ongoing project that is run by Dr. Peter J. Fashing and Dr. Nga Nguyen, both professors at California state University, Fullerton.“