(September 27, 2011 Stillwater, OK) – While some students spent their summer poolside or playing sports, one Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences student spent time volunteering at a chimpanzee sanctuary and attending a conservation medicine course in Africa.
Jenny Ladd, a second year veterinary student from Evergreen, Colo., had previously volunteered at Chimunfshi Wildlife Orphanage, a Chimpanzee sanctuary in Northern Zambia in 2006 and 2008. With a B.A. degree in Zoology from Colorado State University and a year of veterinary school behind her, she was recommended to return to Zambia, Africa, over the summer to collect Chimpanzee fecal samples for research purposes.
“It was a quick trip,” says Ladd. “I was there only a week this time to collect 70 samples as part of my “Parasite Survey of Sanctuary Chimpanzees in Zambia” research that I am working on with Dr. Mason Reichard an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at the veterinary center.”
From there, Ladd moved on to Nelspruit, South Africa, where she participated in a two week “Introduction to Wildlife Medicine” course. The course touches on all aspects of conservation medicine using 40 hours of lectures and 40 hours of practical hands-on experience.
“It was amazing,” she says. “I was with veterinary students and veterinarians from all over the world. We learned about darting techniques, how to monitor downed animals, collecting blood samples on a variety of species, and even how to safely transport wild animals.”
The course is part of wildlifevets.com, a group dedicated to enhancing global wildlife conservation through active involvement in all aspects of wildlife management, education, research and development.
“We also were able to work with giraffe translocation, mass game captures, radio collaring lions, and even dehorning rhinos. We often worked with helicopter and ground crews,” adds Ladd. “It was a great experience.”
Ladd is the daughter of Cheryl and Roger Ladd of Evergreen, Colo. She is one of 90 students in the Class of 2014 at Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences.
Photo description: Ladd, a second year veterinary student at Oklahoma State University, is pictured with a lion that the team placed a tracking collar on to help monitor the large cat’s activities.
The Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is one of 28 veterinary colleges in the United States and is fully accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association. The center’s Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital is open to the public and provides routine and specialized care for small and large animals. It also offers 24-hour emergency care and is certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. For more information, visit www.cvhs.okstate.edu or call (405) 744-7000.