Nineteen-year-old Rachel Partridge, animal lover and aspiring veterinary assistant, travels to the wild camel breeding centre and Gobi “A” today – 2nd April 2019 – to work there for three weeks. She will be accompanied by two vets from Knowsley Safari Park, England.
Lucy McLean has asked Rachel questions about her trip and on her return will question her again. Here are the first batch of questions and Rachel’s answers. Good Luck Rachel!
1: How old are you and what are your plans for the future?
A: I am 19 years old and I am aiming for a career in the animal field. In September I hope to start studying a degree in Animal Behaviour and then will see where opportunities take me.
2: How did you find out about WCPF and what made you want to get involved?
A: I found out about WCPF through my great uncle John Hare, who is a trustee and founder of the WCPF. I have attended previous camel race days and Mongolian days that raised funds for WCPF so I have learnt a lot about the organisation and its aims throughout my teen years. I wanted to get involved because it is an experience of a lifetime that I simply had to take; to be involved with a wild breeding programme is an amazing opportunity. Mongolia is a very remote and unique area in the world that not many get to travel to so I am looking forward to learning more about the culture and lifestyle there whilst on my trip.
3: How much do you know about the wild camel and what do you hope to discover on the trip?
I know a small amount about the wild camel, the habitat they live in and their adaptations in order to survive. I know that there are fewer than 1,000 wild camels today and that we should do as much as possible to not lose the species.
4: What are you most looking forward to experiencing in Mongolia?
I am looking forward to assisting the Vets from Knowsley Safari with their work identifying, tagging and health checking the camels. I am looking forward to helping with the young calves and experiencing their births if possible. I would love to spot some camels in the wild and other Mongolian wild life if possible. I am also looking forward to learning about the local culture and sampling their food and experiencing the remoteness of the Gobi Desert.
5: How will this visit help your career?
Experience with the wild breeding programme will be an experience very few people my age will have and it will show my interest and commitment in the field. I hope it will be a talking point in interviews and help give me transferable skills that I can utilize in future projects.