Monday, December 08, 2008

ACR Goes to Africa Continued...

Next, we visited the Onderstepoort Veterinary Campus of the University of Pretoria. We met with the Dean, an animal behaviorist, and a medicine specialist. They were also interested in our project, and spoke of the vet school funding the scientist’s study in the Kalahari; so he was glad to hear we have been in contact with her and the EWT. He also said that the school wants to reorganize the curriculum to include more off-campus courses. He said that right now a small group of students are TNRing ferals hanging around the campus and nearby areas, but there is nothing officially setup for the students. So, we discussed establishing a mobile vet clinic to patrol Pilanesberg Game Reserve to TNR feral domestic cats (to decrease the possibility of them inter-breeding with the AWCs). We both agreed that this would be a great opportunity for the students to work with certified vets to assist with surgeries and to get hands-on experience in the field. Plus, the mobile clinic would help control the feral population and save the AWC! They also provided us with a contact at Sun City (near Pilanesberg), who a few professors and students have been helping TNR ferals at their resort. While in Sun City, we saw a few feral cats (though fairly friendly) hanging around a restaurant we had lunch at. The waiter told us the restaurant feeds them, but no one is sterilizing them. (Let me recap…a large resort city located right next to a game reserve = a population of domestic feral cats free to roam over to the game reserve where AWCs live → hydridization.)

No comments: