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Becoming a wildlife vet

I am planning on applying to uni to do veterinary medicine. I really want to become a wildlife vet and work as a vet with wild animals or in a zoo. I am very passionate about conservation.
However, I’ve heard some people say that’s it’s virtually impossible to achieve this and it’s got me a little worried.
I guess I wanted to canvas and see whether other people think this is possible for me to do?
Original post by morphah
I am planning on applying to uni to do veterinary medicine. I really want to become a wildlife vet and work as a vet with wild animals or in a zoo. I am very passionate about conservation.
However, I’ve heard some people say that’s it’s virtually impossible to achieve this and it’s got me a little worried.
I guess I wanted to canvas and see whether other people think this is possible for me to do?

Its absolutely possible! Prepare for a long message as im a current 4th year exploring that route.

The first thing im going to say is dont worry too much right now about getting into wildlife medicine. Take things one step at a time. Its great to have long term goals but right now, you need to just get into vet school. At this stage thats the main thing.

The other thing i would say is that over the past few year interest in exotics and wildlife veterinary has sky rocketed but does seem to be dropping a little bit now!

Tips to help you at vet school:
Get exotic AHEMS and CEMS.
Join the unis zoological society/be a committee member
Join the BZVS- they do student meet-ups and students can present other peoples papers and stuff, get your name out there
Extra reading in your area as you will not get taught a lot of it.
There are student conferences every year for exotic talks and practical skills
Network! this is super important, get a linked in, add all the exotic vets you know onto it, get emails, email and ask questions. I have a lot of exotic vets on instagram that i message from time to time (once they told me i could). If people know who you are and you are active in the community you open doors to lots of opportunities
Talk to people about how they go into wildlife because people go down some really unconventional routes sometimes!
Good unis for exotics/wildlife that i know of: Nottingham (where i am), Edinburgh, RVC

dont ignore british wildlife. We have one of the biggest (if not the biggest) wildlife hospital in the world and other smaller but still massive ones.

If you are in a position to do so, get a job and start saving for abroad wildlife placements. I have had some fantastic experiences doing this!

Routes into wildlife:
There are various levels of wildlife work you can do.
The wildlife hospital near me takes volunteer vets so you can work with wildlife with no training.
You can do an advanced practitioner certificate. its called zoo/wildlife but it does have optional modules in pet exotics
You can do internships and/or residencies. These are the most competitive and also really difficult. You basically put your life on pause for 3-4 years so its not an option for everyone and you can work in wildlife without this.

So ultimately you can work at various levels of wildlife with or without qualifications. A lot of people want to work in the field but there is space for people. If you are passionate you will get there one way or another.

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