Two animal management students at Tameside College are looking forward to the adventure of a lifetime, helping conservation efforts in Africa.
Declan Gibbons and Kimberley Evans-Smy, former Mossley Hollins High School and Glossopdale Community College pupils respectively, are raising money to travel to Markele National Park in South Africa to take part in work experience there.
The three-week trip will take place in October and is being partially funded by Tameside College. The two students will be working with park rangers, helping to set camera ‘traps’, care for sick and injured animals and tracking the movement of those in the wild.
Markele National Park was officially founded in 1994 to protect endangered species and is host to the ‘big five’ safari animals: lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, and buffalo.
Declan, who’s dream is to become a zookeeper, said: “I am over the moon that Tameside College is funding this trip as it was recognised how valuable this experience would be for our future careers. Being around animals is a great comfort for me and on this course, I’ve made lots of new friends. I am really looking forward to this experience and sure that it will be life changing for us.”
Philip Pownall, animal management teacher at Tameside College, said: “For Declan and Kimberley to have this opportunity to travel overseas and try something completely new is invaluable. Both are extremely hard working students and this will help them massively with job prospects and practical experience. I hope that they enjoy it and learn a lot from the park’s rangers.”
To find out more about animal management courses at Tameside College, call 0161 908 6600.