Emma-Lee is one of our studying veterinary nurses here at the Hospital, she has been with us since February 2009. Since Emma-Lee was a small girl she held the passion and love for all animals very close to her heart. A dream of Emma-Lee’s was to one day visit the beautiful desert land of Africa to volunteer with the wildlife and give them the same amount love that her animals receive.
On July 5th our nurse will be setting off on her 21st birthday to Gobabis Namibia, Africa to volunteer four weeks of her time at two wildlife sanctuaries, the first being N/a’an ku se (Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary) and the second Noah’s Ark Wildlife Sanctuary, the project focuses purely on the rehabilitation of orphaned, injured, neglected, abandoned and abused wildlife. Wildlife are often considered “problem animals” due to the significant amount of damage they cause to the livestock so local farmers resort to trapping and shooting to eliminate the problem, so these non for profit organisations work to educate the local people of Namibia to promote positive solutions for both farmer and wild animals. These projects currently provide a safe haven to lion, leopard, wild dog, cheetah, baboon, antelope, meerkat, African wildcat, caracal, jackal and tortoise. The reserve on which the sanctuary resides is also home to all kinds of wildlife living in their natural environment, freely roaming the land including leopard, cheetah, kudu, oryx, hartebeest, duiker, warthog, ostrich, caracal, jackal, baboon, African wild cat, mongoose, antelope, meerkat, vulture, eagle, and various other bird species – the list is endless!
Volunteer duties at Noah’s Ark include some of the following:
•Feeding cheetahs and baboons (twice a day)
•Feeding and meal preparation for other wildlife (4-5 times per day)
•Caring for, hand rearing and cleaning baby animals
•Night duty of infant animals (surrogate parenting in bed)
•Cleaning the enclosures
•Assisting with repair and building of structures on the farm
•Building wildlife camps
•Erecting fences around Noah’s Ark
•Assisting in the clinic with injured animals
• Training to assist as Field Guide for daily tours of Noah’s Ark
• Assisting at the local bushman clinic
Emma-Lee is working hard on her Afrikaans so that she can communicate well with the locals of Gobabis. To get to Gobabis Emma-Lee must fly from Perth to Johannesburg and after spending 12 hours in Johannesburg fly to Windhoek airport then drive 2 ½ hours to finally arrive at N/a’an ku se after spending 2 weeks here she will then travel 1 ½ to the next project at Noah’s Ark Wildlife Sanctuary and when her two weeks is up here she will then travel back to the airport, fly from Windhoek to Johannesburg stay overnight and from there fly home to Perth.
Emma-Lee will be holding several fundraisers between now and July and she also has raffles here at the hospital, Craney’s Lunch Bar and Elysians Café in Eaton fair to help cover the costs of flights, accommodation, vaccinations & medications as well as a donation to the refuges.
Emma-Lee says “the kindness a person gives to one animal may not change the world, but it will change the world for that one animal” that is what she remembers whenever she has the chance to make a difference for an animal no matter how big or small. She hopes that this opportunity in Namibia will not only make a difference in her life but in all the animals and peoples lives that she may encounter throughout her journey.