We are proud to be supporting Nepalese Wildlife Vet, Dr Amir Sadaula with vital training and experience

Colchester Zoo is proud to be supporting Wildlife Vets International by welcoming Nepalese Wildlife Vet, Dr Amir Sadaula, on a typical ‘Vet Day’ at Colchester Zoo for some invaluable experience and training.
Dr Amir Sadaula

Dr Amir Sadaula is a wildlife vet working with the National Trust for Nature Conservation, who oversees the care of animals in Nepal’s world famous Chitwan National Park. When the unavoidable loss in tourist revenues threatened his work during the COVID pandemic in 2020, Wildlife Vets International helped to keep Amir in post with support of donations.

In 2020 Nepal’s first wildlife hospital opened in Sauraha, at the edge of the park. It has been equipped with modern diagnostic and anaesthetic equipment, much of which is not in standard use in veterinary clinics in Nepal. Therefore, the team didn’t have the experience that would let them realise its full potential.

Wildlife Vets International have teamed up with the Metamorphosis Foundation who have kindly sponsored a vitally important trip to the UK for Amir to help improve the service the hospital can provide for conservation. This trip is intended to allow Amir to participate in some invaluable CPD (Continuing Professional Development) training. Amir will then be able to take what he has learnt back to Nepal and share this new knowledge with his colleagues, building vital in-country wildlife health capacity.

Wildlife Vets International has been supported by Colchester Zoo’s charity, Action for the Wild, for many years now, so we are delighted to be able to help provide ex situ assistance with our team here at Colchester Zoo. WVI provides a service to the international conservation community sponsoring top veterinary specialists who can help conservationists and local vets as they battle to save endangered species worldwide. There is a vital medical side to conservation and it’s beginning to play a bigger role in the success of projects to save animals like the Amur tiger, Africa’s painted wolves and even the UK’s own pine martens.

Amir assists Zoo vet Nic Masters, with a standard veterinary procedure for male Orangutan, Tiga.
Amir assists Zoo vet, Nic Masters, with a standard veterinary procedure for male Orangutan, Tiga.

During his time in the UK, Dr Amir has completed an intensive placement at Montgomery Veterinary Clinic, a busy small animal clinic where he has been able to get to grips with gas anaesthesia and practice his x-ray skills, just like a final year vet student would. On 30th November Amir joined our Zoo vet, Nic Masters, IZVG, to put these newly acquired skills into practice with animals he’s a little more familiar with! Amir helped with a number of patients on the day from a Burmese python, Giant anteater to an Aardvark and an Orangutan.

Although most of WVI’s training takes place in situ, sometimes it’s useful to develop more advanced clinical skills in a setting where the caseload is more predictable.

Amir assisting Zoo vet with x-ray on Giant anteater

The trip has been arranged and co-ordinated by long term friend and colleague, Dr Jess Bodgener. Jess has been working on projects with Amir in Nepal for several years now and says it is a real pleasure to be able to turn the tables and play host for a while.

“Watching Amir this week has been so rewarding. There really isn’t anywhere in Nepal he could have got this experience and you can see he’s taking it all in and really enjoying it too. I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped make this happen and I know the newly acquired knowledge will be put to good use. And on a personal level it’s also just been lovely to have him here and be able to share our culture. I will miss him when he’s gone.”

Amir and Jess will be reunited in 2023 when Jess travels back to Nepal to continue her work on conflict leopards. Amir’s trip to the UK not only allows him to take back vital knowledge to his team, but also strengthens this professional partnership by enabling a mutual understanding of the constraints and challenges of each other’s normal working environment.

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