A trio of dedicated animal lovers are travelling more than 4,500 miles to help Canadian creatures in need.
The third-year students on Wrexham Glyndwr University’s animal studies programme will this month headto Vancouver, Canada, to volunteer for 10 weeks with the Critter Care Wildlife Society.
Ceri-ann Hitchens, Jack Hughes and Charlotte Langton will be interns helping to care for and rehabilitate mammals that have been injured or abandoned and preparing them for release into the wild.
Mammals typical to the area include Brown and Black Bears, Deer, Coyotes, Mountain Lions, Beavers, Skunks and Racoons.
Jack, 22, from Ripon, North Yorkshire, has already interned at the centre once this year. In the past Jack has worked on whale and dolphin conservation in Tenerife and after studying for a upcoming masters degree hopes to be a zoo keeper.
He said: “When I was in Canada I was one of 20 interns – there’s a lot that needs doing because of the amount of animals coming in. It’s a great feeling to hand rear the animals and eventually see them released into the wild.”
Ceri-ann, 21, from Kingswood, South Gloucestershire, has also volunteered further afield, working on a game reserve on South Africa’s Eastern Cape.
She shadowed the game manager and also went into the local community to make a list of repairs and improvements that were needed to local facilities including schools and playgrounds. She also took food, toiletries and luxury items for the people there.
“The experience has altered my career path because now my dream is to be a veterinary nurse on a game reserve and live in South Africa,” she said.
Charlotte, 20, from Saddleworth, Greater Manchester, would also like to be a zoo keeper, ideally looking after bears.
She said: “I’ve completed assignments on bears so I’m most looking forward to working with those in Canada.
“I hope none of the baby animals I’m caring for die, but if more get released into the wild than die, it’s worth it.”
Wrexham Glyndwr University Careers Adviser Andrea Hilditch added: “These students are so proactive and energetic in seeking out valuable career experiences and opportunities.
“They’re an inspiration to others and show what can happen when you think outside the box.
“Their experiences have helped them pinpoint how they want their future careers to develop, and I would urge others to get as much work experience as possible and to think big about where they can go.”