Working as a vet with CIWY

Belonging to the CIWY team has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life, not only as a veterinarian but also as a person. I can say that this organization is now part of my family.

The role of the veterinarian at CIWY is essential, not only because you are in charge of the wildlife management, but you also learn to coordinate large teams and to make the most of time and resources. Given the large illegal wildlife trafficking in Bolivia, we work daily with a wide variety of species, which makes you learn a lot about disease management and prevention. You get to know people from many different countries and cultures, you share experiences and knowledge, and at the same time, you improve your languages very quickly!

But being part of this implies being willing to work in a difficult environment. On the one hand, it is a centre in the middle of the Pantanal jungle; which is flooded several months a year, where you have to cross the water up to the waist almost daily to check the animals. In addition, you have to learn to live with the dreaded mosquitoes and the suffocating heat all year round. On the other hand, given that no help is received from the state, resources are very limited, and medication, resources and personnel are scarce.

Vet work

That's when the challenge comes. As a veterinarian, you must sharpen your wits and make the most of each of those few resources. It is essential to carry out a fairly strict check-up routine in order to prevent possible diseases as much as possible and prevent the numerous animals with chronic diseases from worsening and to remain stable with a good quality of life. Luckily, the surgeries at this centre are minimal because there is a lot of emphasis on safety management. It is essential to have patience, not only for the environment but also for the workload and responsibility.

For all this, to come as a veterinarian it is very interesting to have worked previously in clinic and wildlife management, as well as having a medium knowledge of English to be able to communicate with your colleagues in a fluid way and avoid accidents. But, above all, to be a CIWY veterinarian you must be willing: having a desire to learn, to discover and, without a doubt, to live. Only in this way can you value each day of life in the jungle.

For me, it has been an unforgettable experience. I have endured very hard moments, emotionally and physically, and I have overcome my personal limits in an unimaginable way. I have improved my knowledge in the clinic area in order to get the most out of a treatment or a supplement, and I have also learned a lot about the management of South American fauna. I got to know a country and a wonderful culture, as is Bolivia. I have made friends for life, with whom I share the same vision and the same struggle around conservation. I have felt loved, valued and respected in equal parts. All that I would;t want to change for anything else.

 vet work

Posted on Apr 20, 2018 by

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