Dr. Gianluca Zaffarano spent one-month with Conservation Global in February 2016 researching the prevalence of parasites in wild ruminants. This research evaluated mugshot, sex, skeletal development, nutritional status through evaluation of BCS (body condition score), sensory status, attitudes and particular signs, skin and subcutaneous connective tissue, respiratory activity and major organ functions as well as the digital diagnosis of parasites in feces. For instance, we appreciated symptoms remotely seen like coughing, nasal discharge, diarrhea and lameness. Always with the support of Rangers we defined the hierarchical status of the considered head. The qualitative and quantitative coprological examinations helped us to identify the presence of noxious parasites responsible for the alterations of previously identified or interference with the or health and / or hierarchical situation. A large number of data recovered was evaluated through statistical evaluations. The choice of animal species for this survey was left to the park managers who may be interested for management purposes.
My week spent on Gondwana Game Reserve with Conservation Global was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. I was fortunate enough to travel to South Africa with Franklin University Switzerland on academic travel in the spring of 2015. Bonding with the staff and learning about the animals in their natural environment made for one incredible week. Each day was filled with activities and lectures that were as entertaining as they were educational. As a group we had a lecture in the morning either from a member of the knowledge staff or from a local expert. We learned about native bee populations and were treated to honey samples from the region and were given a demonstration on the practice of tagging and tracking animals on the reserve. Perhaps the most memorable was when we were taught how to properly handle a tranquilizer gun and had a competition to see who could get a bullseye! After the morning lecture, the group would split up for the safari in which the staff took great care to make sure we saw as many animals as possible. Later in the afternoon we would regroup for a drink and to admire the scenery. I have the utmost respect for Conservation Global and the work they are doing—hoping to return to South Africa soon!
The South Africa travel was the most incredible experience of life!! With Conservation Global’s help, I experienced memories that will last a lifetime. From learning about sustainability in townships and wildlife conservatory at game reserves, to the social and economic issues that South Africa struggles with today, Conservation Global allowed me to be enthusiastic and engaged throughout our trip, as well as encouraged me to think about how my relationship with nature and the environment will affect future generations for years to come.