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Veterinary Science Students Travel to Africa

Noreen Heikes and six EFE Students take part in Vets & Wildlife Program

Six Education for Employment Veterinary Science alumni went on the journey of a lifetime in Hoedspruit, South Africa to take part in the Vets and Wildlife Program. Students assisted experienced wildlife veterinarians during this two-week, hands-on experience.

The students who attended the trip hail from different school districts in the area. Brooklyn Joslyn is a graduate from Portage Central. Chole O’Neil is a graduate of Galesburg-Augusta. James Porter and Kaitlyn Spellicy are both graduates of Gull Lake. Summer Painter and Hannah Flickinger are seniors at Vicksburg. They were joined by their EFE instructor, Noreen Heikes. Their journey started Aug. 4 in Chicago. Three flights and almost two days later, they arrived at Boulders Game Ranch.

The day after they arrived at the ranch, they started their work. The students’ daily activities included assisting in the capture, treatment and relocation of sick or injured animals. Students worked with all kinds of species such as an elephant, sable, eland, nyala, and more. They also had the opportunity to shoot a tranquilizer gun and go horseback riding.

“The guides and vets were very kind and knowledgeable,” said Porter. “Students who want to go into the veterinary field should definitely go on a trip like this. It will change your life and you won't want to come home.”

This exciting veterinary experience is something Heikes and her students will not soon forget. Heikes said the most memorable part of the trip was “watching my students become confident, self-sufficient, and beautifully coordinated in providing medical care to large wildlife.” She hopes to offer trips like this one to future EFE students.

Visit the Veterinary Science Trip in South Africa Blog to see pictures and learn more about the trip at If you would like to learn more about Veterinary Science or other EFE programs visit our website at