One of our key conservation objections is to invest in, and build, local capacity with the ultimate goal of sustained benefits for wildlife and people alike. Every year, as part of this objective, we take on an undergraduate B.Sc. attachment student from National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Bulawayo. The student lives on site with us in Savé Valley Conservancy (SVC) and actively participates in all of our projects, research and field work. They learn about the many challenges of large carnivore conservation and come to understand just what it entails to be a working professional in their chosen career.
This year we welcome Golden Mukaro! Golden earned a Diploma in Education at Masvingo Teachers College, and he has worked for the Ministry of Education Sport and Culture, Zimbabwe for five years. He is now a third year student studying a B.Sc. in Forest Resources and Wildlife Management at NUST. Given his background in teaching, Golden wishes to gain experience in addressing major conservation threats to African wild dogs, and other wildlife, through community education.
Golden has already been out with our CLO, Victor Chibaya, to learn about our schools program, and has been involved in our annual carnivore spoor survey for the past two weeks. See what Golden had to say about his time with the team.
“The spoor survey in SVC has been an exciting one to me, it provides me the opportunity to see wildlife in- situ and experience of spoor identification. Apart from that, I was allowed to actively participate like a full -time employee during the spoor survey.”
“During the spoor survey we had great sightings of the spoor of common animals which included civets and genets and found spoors of the rarer animal species such as the cheetah. During the spoor survey there was much excitement among the team when we encountered one pack of wild dogs which had not seen for the past few months.”
Golden is looking forward to his attachment with us, and believes with time and training he will become a huge asset to the organisation. He also has some motivational words for his fellow students completing attachments elsewhere.
“My colleagues studying Forest Resources and Wildlife Management, let’s work towards achieving better results in wild life conservation, focusing mainly on endangered species like African wild dogs. Let’s think about and analyze issues pertaining to the conservation of wildlife without being limited by the conventional constraints of academic boundaries.”