Veterinary student involvement in rhino conservation

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NSC (7), BVSc Candidate


As veterinary students most of us have a deep passion for animals. We care about not only their health, but also about their welfare and survival. Wildlife conservation is a very controversial topic and people all over the world has different viewpoints and approaches towards this. However, as veterinary students we are united in the fact that we want to be involved and contribute towards conservation. The problem is that we often do not know how to approach this.


In South Africa we have a very unique and challenging problem. Rhino conservation. Since 2013 a year have not gone by where at least a 1000 Rhinos were not poached within a year. That is more than 3 Rhinos per day. When one go and look at the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red listed animals and their survival rate graph, you can see that their survival rate keeps decreasing.

This is the reality that we as veterinary students and future veterinarians are presented with. There is no simple solution for this problem, but we as veterinary students we can contribute in a very unique way to increase the survival rate of critically endangered animals.

The entire Rhino specie is facing extinction. This leads to the fact that the specie now more often require veterinary attention than another wild animal. One life that is saved can make an incredible difference in the future survival of the specie. It is our responsibility as future veterinarians to educate ourselves with the facts.


The sooner we start contributing and being involved the better chance we have to save these animals. There are multiple ways in which we can do this, the important thing is that we start somewhere and try.




Reference: (2018). [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 Jan. 2018].

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