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Kirkley Hall students return to Africa to save the Rhinos

Kirkley Hall students return to Africa to save the Rhinos  
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Two Animal Management students from Northumberland College’s Kirkley Hall campus are heading off to South Africa this week to help to save rhinos in their natural habitat.

Lucinda Green from Ashington and Kayleigh Foster from Cramlington will spend just over one month at the Hluhluwe Game reserve, working alongside an organisation called Saving Private Rhino to support the conservation of both black and white rhinos.

The two students first visited South Africa in May 2012 on an educational trip organised by the college, where they fell in love with the wildlife there.

On last years' trip they met Bester Scheepers, Game Farm Manager at a ranch in Hluhluwe, South Africa. Bester works tirelessly to protect rhinos on the reserve and he approached the college to see if any volunteers would like to return this year to support conservation efforts.

20 year old Lucinda who will be completing her Higher National Diploma (HND) in Animal Management this June and also works as a keeper at the college's Zoological Gardens said: "One of our most memorable moments from last years' trip to South Africa was seeing the critically endangered black rhino in the wild.

"We both have a passion for conservation so when we were given the opportunity to go back to help with in-situ rhino conservation we jumped at the chance."
 
On the trip Lucinda and Kayleigh will be helping with a range of activities such as; monitoring rhino behaviour and grazing patterns, making identification kits on each
rhino encountered, identifying areas in which they are found and helping the breeding programme.

Lucinda and Kayleigh recently completed the Alwinton Round 20 mile walk, raising over £350 to go to three rhino conservation charities.

24 year old Kayleigh, who has just completed a Level 3 Diploma in Animal Management at the college and is going on to study the HND course in September said: "The College has excellent facilities at Kirkley Hall for anyone looking to work with animals. It has a zoo with over 130 different species including several that are endangered.

"We have learned so much about conservation of various animals in their natural habitats so to have the opportunity to go to Africa last year to see them for real was amazing. This time the trip will give us excellent experience in conservation if we choose to follow careers in that field."

For more information on the range of animal management courses available at the Kirkley Hall campus visit www.northumberland.ac.uk.