Will's Lion Experience in Zimbabwe

 

WILL HIORNS - ZOOLOGY STUDENT 

Using the LJMU Go Global Fund, Will spent two weeks in Zimbabwe on the Lion Rehabilitation Project with fellow LJMU student Victoria Wells a Biology student. Antelope Park offers one of the world's top wildlife release programmes, providing Will and Victoria with the perfect opportunity to gain some incredible degree related hands on experience. 
What was the highlight of your trip?

It is impossible to name just one as the entire trip was a highlight, but to name a few:

  • Starting each day by walking three adorable lion cubs through the African bush and watching them play and have fun together.

  • Going on a horseback safari and seeing african animals such as Giraffes, Zebras, Antelope and Wildebeest in the bush and being able to get close as there was no noise. Then spending that evening camping under the stars around a campfire with some of the best people I have ever met.

  • Going into the local community and helping teach the kids in the schools, I mainly helped teach them how to read and write but they were just so happy and full of energy that I enjoyed it all.

How has the trip impacted you and will this have a positive impact on your studies?

The trip has helped me view my course under a whole new light, not to sound cliche but I did actually get to use the skills I had learnt in the classroom in a more hands on experience, and not just at Chester zoo but in Zimbabwe in the wild with lions. It helped me with data collection techniques and behavioural analysis.

Would you recommend this experience to other LJMU students?

Yes, yes I would. I already told a few about the funding before I went out there and few people actually believed it was true. But after they saw that I was actually in Africa they felt kind of silly. Smaller Earth and LJMU are offering students once in a lifetime experiences and thanks to the Go Global Fund, virtually completely funded. I am hopefully going to go on another one of their projects next year and I am very much grateful for all they have done for me.