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How is being a wildlife vet like?

Since I was young, I've always had an interest in animals. As I'm becoming older I have been thinking more about pursuing a career in veterinary sciences. Rather than dealing with domestic animals I am more interested in wild animals. What opportunities has this career given you? Have you been able to travel with this job? #career #veterinary #animals

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Christian’s Answer

Hi there!

There are certainly careers for students that want to pursue non-domestic animal medicine. You could work as a veterinarian for a zoological facility, as a researcher, or with a government wildlife organization. There are endless opportunities within veterinary medicine for you to think about. Something that I always tell people interested in getting into the field is to diversify your experiences. You may not be able to get shadowing experiences at a zoo right away, but learn how to work with dogs, cats, and horses in a veterinary setting first. Once you've got the basics, you can translate it to zoo species (after all, a lion is just a big cat)!

As a student and nurse, I have had the opportunity to travel to South Africa to work with wildlife (including various antelope species, rhinos, etc.) and to Thailand to work at an Asian Elephant sanctuary. I will be traveling abroad in the near future to work on Pangolin conservation in Vietnam. As you can see, this field can open up a world of opportunities for fun adventures and travel; however, you need to keep in mind that the veterinary field does not have the highest pay. If you love animals and really want to be in the veterinary field, then you should absolutely do it!

I hope this was helpful!

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Patrick’s Answer

Helping wild animals seems like a fascinating and rewarding career! I'm not 100% sure there are veterinarians for wild animals, but most states have biologists that are experts in various species. These biologist help maintain a healthy habitat for those animals and often work with universities, non-profits, and federal agencies do to research.

One piece of advice I would give it to focus on a specific animal or group of animals. There aren't really generalists. Often the staff will have a "bear person," or a "deer person," or a "reptile person," etc...
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