SUMMER 2017 June 14th – July 9th

The Wildlife Institute (WI) in partnership with the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic (BWRC) offers winter and summer open-enrollment veterinary courses for veterinary, vet-tech and qualified pre-vet students. In Summer 2017, the Wildlife Institute offers two 1 month sections of Summer Veterinary Experience.

The Summer Veterinary Experience includes two courses; Wildlife Medicine & Conservation and Small Animal Veterinary Experience (SAVE). The Summer Veterinary Experience is ideal for final year vet students seeking externship or clinical rotations, and first and second year students seeking hands on experience and an introduction to a range of diverse veterinary topics. During Wildlife Medicine & Conservation, students join the BWRC veterinary team for a two week course at the clinic and in the field with wildlife projects around Belize and the region. During SAVE, students are introduced to essential clinical skills which they then put to use during community health and spay & neuter clinics in communities around Belize.

Wildlife Medicine Learning Objectives
This program improves student’s knowledge and abilities in the following areas

  • Understanding the role and key challenges and opportunities for veterinarians in wildlife medicine and conservation
  • Critical conservation issues in the tropics, and specific examples of their challenges with focus on human wildlife conflict and illegal pet trade
  • Wildlife examination
  • Wildlife medical issues and approaches
    Anatomy Lab

    Students constructing bone puzzles during anatomy lab at BWRC

  • Stressors and risk evaluation
  • Basic clinical procedures in different species
  • Distance immobilization & restraint
  • Emergency medicine and triage protocol
  • Emerging and common Zoonotic diseases
  • Zoo and preventative medicine
  • Wildlife Transport
  • Comparative wildlife anatomy, osteology, and radiography
  • Ecology of large cats, monkeys, iguanas, snakes, and birds of Belize
  • Husbandry and nutrition of Neotropical species
  • Necropsy
  • Basic suturing
  • Basics of avian fracture repair
  • Tropical parasitology & Zoonotic diseases
  • International and local regulatory and practical applications associated with wildlife conservation
  • International veterinary medicine
  • The role of community based conservation organizations, NGOs and governmental entities in conservation

Visit to Guatemala may be included in some itineraries

*Note on wildlife rescue or emergency field visits: The need for wildlife rescue or emergency visits is unpredictable. Past students and interns have been involved in a number of wildlife rescue, relocation, and emergency response situations. When such occasions arise, BWRC will make every effort for the student to observe or in some cases participate in these efforts.

Small Animal Veterinary Experience Topics & Activities

  • Introduction to International Veterinary Medicine (LDC context)
  • Common small animal diseases in Belize and the Neo-Tropics
  • Canine and Feline examination
  • Basic laboratory diagnostics (fecal analysis, hematology, skin and ear cytology)
  • Preventative medicine
  • Anesthesia under clinical and field conditions – from preparation to safe recovery
  • Clinical outreach activities
  • Street animal care
  • Public health educational outreach
  • Spay and Neuter and health care clinics
  • Suture lab
  • Laboratory diagnostic lab
  • Anatomy/radiography

Services and Fees
WMC Course Fee $2,700 USD | WMC & SAVE Course Fee $4,600 USD

Included in the cost of your program

Dining at DuPlooy's Jungle Lodge on recreation day.

Dining at DuPlooy’s Jungle Lodge on recreation day.

  • Airport transfers (pick-up/drop off) & all ground transportation
  • Accommodations with breakfast
  • Some lunches and dinners
  • Payments to Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic
  • Payments and donations to partner wildlife conservation projects
  • Labs and field activities
  • BWRC or WI t-shirt 

While in San Ignacio, standard accommodations include multiple occupancy, A/C, free wifi, Cable, private bath, kitchenette and breakfast. Situated on the river, standard accommodations offer students the opportunity to utilize our kayaks and canoes for wildlife spotting and recreation. We also offer upgraded accommodations with private room, A/C, swimming pool and restaurant for an additional fee. Accommodations at field sites vary and may include home-stays. Transportation is provided to and from each accommodation location.

Students at the community Baboon Sanctuary

Students at the community Baboon Sanctuary

Filming and Photography
Interns and students are routinely filmed and photographed during BWRC wildlife rescue events. If you are not willing to be on film or in photographs, please inform the photographer on site.

Before You Apply
Before you apply, feel free to Educational Program Director Justin Ford for more information about the SAVE and Wildlife Medicine and Conservation courses. Apply as early as possible to secure your seat. Sections are limited to 12 participants.