The Trust firmly believes that the way forward for conservation on a national scale is to have competent, salaried local capacity able to deal with a broad range of wildlife situations.
Once AWARE is receiving a steady income, a budget will be set aside for veterinary and support staff salaries. These personnel will be trained in all aspects of wildlife veterinary medicine through on the job training and continuing education courses.
In the meantime, money will be used for the volunteer veterinarians working with AWARE to attend courses to further their knowledge and expertise.
Dr Erick Mutizhe to attend the 2011 Dangerous Drugs Course
AWARE starts anti-poaching training for rangers in Parks
In a new and very exciting development in 2010, PWMA granted permission for AWARE to conduct a series of Tracking and Anti-Poaching Training Courses for National Parks rangers in Chipinge National Park led by ex military Grade A Tracking Instructor Pete Clemence, and his son Bryce. The Basic Course, held in August, was a three-week long selection course designed to provide the basics of tracking, weapon handling, ‘contact’ training, map-work, and GPS use. Talented individuals were identified to proceed to the Intermediate Course, held in November. Graduates from this will proceed to the Advanced Course in 2011 with the objective being to finally establish an ‘elite’ unit capable of eliminating the threat of armed poachers. The importance of this training cannot be overstated. These rangers are expected to put their lives on the line every day to defend rhino against armed poachers. Due to a lack of resources within PWMA, they go on extended patrols with very limited equipment, in some cases little training, and at the end of the day for comparatively little reward. These courses provide the confidence for them to tackle any situation, and the interest being taken in them is a powerful motivator. In December AWARE facilitated a Ranger Training Workshop for PWMA trainers to standardise the ranger curriculum at a national level. The workshop was very encouraging and we look forward to assisting the PWMA training programme in 2011, with further courses to be run by Pete and Bryce in Parks all over the country. If anyone is interested in corporate sponsorship of this activity, please contact us.
SPANA's Dr Karen Reed gives Donkey Medicine Course
Early March 2010 saw Communications and Veterinary Directors of SPANA, Simon Pope and Dr Karen Reed, come out from the UK to take a course in donkey medicine and welfare that was organised by AWARE in Gweru. 23 vets and animal health inspectors practising in rural areas where many donkeys are encountered were invited to the course. This included inspectors from the SPCA countrywide. A day of lectures was followed by a donkey clinic where 40 donkeys were treated for a range of veterinary problems including some spectacular abscesses and the usual axe and spear wounds and lameness problems. The course was very well received and all participants learnt alot and went away much more confident in dealing with donkey issues. Read more in March 2010 newsletter.
Zimbabwean wildlife vets attend inaugural wildlife diagnostics course in Pretoria
Drs Marabini and Dutlow were sponsored by Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), based in America, to attend the inaugural ‘Practical Wildlife Disease Investigation’ course at the University of Pretoria in April 2009. AWARE Trust in turn sponsored Dr Chris Foggin of the Wildlife Veterinary Unit to attend this course.
The course was aimed at standardising veterinary diagnostic procedures within Trans Frontier Conservation Areas in Southern Africa, and was given by eminent South African wildlife vets.