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Pennsylvania State University’s Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences department has a new immersion program. Introduced just last year, the program takes veterinary students to South Africa, where they get hands-on experience with exotics.
One such student, Morgan Brown, was one of the first to participate.
Brown first heard about the program in the Penn State Pre-Vet Club newsletter. Knowing that she would need to have experience working directly with exotic animals, she applied. The result was a fantastic learning experience for the junior veterinary and biomedical sciences major.
The program, which lasts two weeks, consists of informative lectures given by zoologists and local veterinarians, as well as hands-on experience at the zoos in South Africa and local villages. Brown also got to assist with capturing game, which involved darting and transporting waterbuck and impala.
"I needed to get more experience working with bigger animals and exotic animals, and this program exposed me to many things that I wouldn't have been exposed to had I just worked in the United States," Brown told Penn State News.
This experience brought certainty to Brown’s decision that she wants to be a wildlife veterinarian, perhaps even assisting on film sets that feature exotic animals.