The following day we spent the day at Moholoholo Rehabilitation center. The first thing we did on tour was watch our guide, Marshal, lure a cheetah out with meat attached to a string that gets quickly pulled in by this machine, so that we could witness the speed of a cheetah. The first run was so fast I barely caught the cheetah running across on camera. Then they let us pet the cheetahs on a table. We got split up into groups where our jobs as volunteers included cleaning up the animal enclosures, feeding the animals, and assisting with anything they needed. I was originally frightened to go because Louis said that Moholoholo would be worse than Ceasars bush palace, but I guess he was joking because their animals seemed to be doing alot better than at Caesars. We got hold a couple of large birds and zack almost got attacked by one of the owls we were feeding.
We had a whole day allocated to a reptile center. I loved our lecture with prince because I barely knew anything about reptiles, so it was nice to get more exposure to that information. To summarize, our day consisted of feeding black mambas some mice, feeding chameleons some crickets with our mouths, being presented with a Cobra show on the ground, and holding a tarantula. I was really excited to hold a tarantula because I’ve always been relatively afraid of them and never got the chance to hold one. It was actually quite nice. We finished off by doing a snake necropsy and seeing the egg sacks inside the snake. We didn’t get to fully finished because we were being rushed to go see jessica the hippo. We finished off our day by seeing one of those majestic really old trees called a Baobab which was thousands of years old.
Our last two days in Africa before we left, we spent with Andre. We had a conversation with him and he spoke about how many people view hunting as a negative activity but that hunting actually generates a lot of income for conservation. I appreciated Andre’s conversations with us because he’s a very fair person and opens us up to many ideas we never thought of before. He mentioned how he would never hunt though because it could seem cynical to kill animals after he spends so much time as his job to try to save them. We went to go see Jessica the hippo after but when we got to Jessica’s place, we were told that she was sick, so we could only see her friend Richie. It was better than nothing. The group and I got to do some shopping around the next area, and I got these beautiful expensive African bags for my family. Zack and I spent so much time at this hat and bag store that we weren’t able to get tapestries unfortunately. Lastly, we were scheduled to do darting from a helicopter. We practiced with Andre on a still target at first. The dart gun was heavy and felt a little awkward to hold at first, but I got use do it and shot the target on the dot. We went to the helicopter right after that.
The second day with Andre and last full day in Africa we helped Andrea setup nets around a certain area so that we could capture and relocate impala. It took a team effort to get those nets untangled and all around a certain area and it took even longer to try to lure the impala into the netted area. It really made me realize how much hard work it requires to be a wildlife vet and its kind of scary to think that I would have to be doing that all alone at times. We caught one impala and relocated her to a different area. We were holding her down in a truck and drove and I felt like I was in a movie participating in these crazy wildlife vet adventures. She was hurt from the fencing so we had to use a lot of the purple disinfectant spray, and then we released her. When we got back to camp, we took our exam which consisted of a long essay we had to write. And finally the last thing on the agenda was our goodbye dinner. We all had to choose a name out of a cup and say something nice about that person at dinner. I got Nicole. Our last dinner got very emotional because we knew that our journey together had come to an end. All the things we said about each other was so nice and I was really gonna miss Louis a a lot. We got our certificates and took pictures with a graduation gown on.