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Should I minor in Spanish or Wildlife when I plan on becoming a wildlife veterinarian (hopefully at a zoo)?

I will be entering college this fall, majoring in Animal Sciences. This major covers animals extensively, but should I choose a minor in wildlife to gain even more understanding? However, I have also heard that it is extremely beneficial to know more than one language, so should I minor in Spanish? Which would most likely end up being more beneficial in the end?
#medicine #veterinary #veterinary-medicine #veterinarian #pre-veterinary-medicine

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Courtney’s Answer

Keep in mind that wildlife covers more than just animals. Wildlife is plants, animals, ecosystem, etc. Which in Texas is a Major/Minor we'd follow to be a Game Warden. At my zoo, we consider our animals to be exotics (bears, various wild cats, wolves, primates, kinkajous, warthogs, water buffalo, bearcats, sloths, etc). Most of our zookeepers majored in Animal Science and minored in Wildlife and Fisheries or Biology. Logically speaking, I'm not sure what benefit there is to being to be able to speak Spanish when most ofy our time as a zoo vet will be spent with the animals. If you wanted to be a domestic animal veterinarian in an area that speaks mostly Spanish, then you should consider taking a couple of Spanish classes as an elective so that you can speak to your customers, but I wouldn't recommended minoring in Spanish. It would benefit you more to keep your focus on animal related Majors/Minors for your Bachelor's Degree, like Animal Science; Wildlife & Fisheries; Zoology; Biology; Psychology (for working with primates). Don't forget.... after your Bachelor's you'll have another 4 years getting your DVM.

Thank you comment icon Wildlife if you want to be a vet. Kamen Marshall
Thank you comment icon thanks for the comment on her post! Stephanee
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Miguel’s Answer

If you're planing to become a veterinarian, you'll have plenty of time in becoming acquainted with animals, even in your time off.
Getting to learn a new language is ALWAYS a plus, especially the Spanish language.
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Michelle’s Answer

I would choose wildlife over Spanish, but you do not need to minor in it. Veterinary admissions committees are looking for both breadth and depth of experience with a variety of animals. Hands on experience with the supervision of a vet is very desirable, so volunteering at a wildlife center would be a great opportunity. If you are admitted to vet school, there are so many paths to pursue. I encourage students to be open minded.
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Noah’s Answer

Dear Erin,
Because I was born in South America, I can tell you that it's great to be bilingual. Especially in Spanish. However, since you know exactly what you want to focus on (ie.attaining a position as a zoo veterinarian) I would lean for you to take more courses in wildlife biology, especially since that is your passion.
You hopefully suspect that attaining such job in North America or even any other first world country is very competitive and selective. When you choose a vet school (also highly selective) try to choose one like UC Davis which has a tract in wildlife medicine. Of course a zoo is not your only option and furthermore there is so much need in poorer countries and if you have compassion and dedication there is much work to be done.
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Dr Gretchen’s Answer

Wildlife study would be a helpful start to becoming a wildlife veterinarian . You may consider choosing more broad scope major such as Biology which would expand into many animal/life systems and provide a broad base of knowledge. You could then choose to specialize your study in wildlife. Degrees in environmental health are also a strong option which allows for many industry jobs that encompass environmental and the human-animal health interconnection. Once you are admitted to veterinary school, you could further focus your special interest to exotic animal courses and internships. I encourage you to volunteer at wildlife rescue centers and veterinary clinics, especially those that handle exotic animals, to further your exposure and familiarity with several animal species! Adding a language to your studies is a very good idea, as most veterinary clinics also serve Spanish-speaking clients. This gives you an additional tool and skill when applying for jobs, and many employers are looking for bilingual employees!
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Kamen’s Answer

Wildlife if you want to be a vet.

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Faryka’s Answer

I would choose wildlife. Knowing a second language is incredibly helpful and very important but the amount of people that can actually speak Spanish after taking Spanish classes in this country is minimal! I took Spanish in school and I grew up with Spanish speakers and was not able to hold a conversation until I spent six months in a Spanish-speaking country. I’m still not fluent but I can get by. I plan to do Rosetta Stone to supplement what I learned. This is something that you can do on your own time. I would take classes to give you a better idea of what you’ll be getting into academically. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be in the same field but if I had the option of taking a wildlife class I would have definitely taken it! I hope this helps.
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jackie’s Answer

I live in Indianapolis and when I worked downtown, we had one employee that could speak Spanish. I would encourage a second language in college as well as volunteer work with wildlife. Volunteer for a rescue, particularly one that focuses on wildlife and rehab. Veterinary schools are looking for well rounded individuals. Find another interest and volunteer there as well, for example, I volunteered in the schools for a reading program for elementary kids.
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