Why did you want to become a veterinarian?
I grew up in a household full of animal lovers and animals and it was almost a natural progression. The satisfaction of knowing that you can make a positive difference to an animal’s life is exhilarating.
Why wildlife instead of domesticated animals?
Growing up I spent a lot of time in the bush and I was always fascinated with wildlife. I did a BSc Honours in Wildlife Management before embarking on my Veterinary Science career and there is not much that can keep me out of the bush!
How did you become involved with STS? Why did you want to be associated with STS?
I walked into Dr (Johan) Marais’ office as a student in early 2014 after hearing about STS and of the horrors of rhino poaching, and asked him how we could get involved and how we could help. After a brief introduction I started a drive to sell t-shirts to my fellow students at Onderstepoort, and it then grew from there. I then spent most of my free time helping when and where I could, and I was very fortunate to attend to a few of STS’s cases when I was still a student and the passion just grew from there.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the natural world today?
A lack of education and compassion.
What is your take on the rhino poaching crisis?
We are most definitely not winning this war (regardless of what you may hear or think) and we need to up our game before we have none of these beautiful creatures left! And this does not only include rhino but all of our wildlife. It is our responsibility to ensure the survival of all animals – when they are gone, they are gone forever…
What is the most challenging situation you have faced thus far?
Putting ones emotions aside when treating animals is and always will be challenging. It is also often more difficult when the people around you are emotional (understandably so) and you just need to buckle down and do what is best for the animal in front of you. I have come to the conclusion that it never gets easier, but we do get better at dealing with these situations.
I have a huge soft spot for buffalo. They demand a huge amount of respect and they have the cutest calves!
What is your motto?
You did not wake up today to be mediocre.
What would you like to say to the supporters of STS?
Just a quick but HUGE thank you to all the people all over the world who take the time out to comment on our posts and on our photos, who are always offering words of support and gratitude. I have been checking our social media platforms almost daily for over 2 years and I am always dumbstruck by the love and compassion people have for animals that they have often never even seen in real life. So thank you! And then to all our donors and sponsors who make it possible for us to do what we do every day – thank you!