The last 10 years has seen a huge increase in the popularity of exotic pets. Among the weird and wonderful animals being kept in our homes are monkeys, tarantulas, iguanas, salamanders, snakes, even hedgehogs.
And as animal collections and reserves around the world develop their conservation and captive breeding programmes there is an insatiable demand for expertise in the husbandry of exotic animals.
To help develop that expertise and broaden the horizons of students aiming to work in the veterinary profession The University of Nottingham has joined forces with Twycross Zoo.
After five years in Asia studying the phenomenon of musth in Asian bull elephants, veterinarian and reproductive physiologist Dr Lisa Yon, a lecturer in zoo and wildlife medicine, now spends half her working week at the University's School of Veterinary Medicine and Science and the other half at Twycross Zoo just 30 minutes down the road in Leicestershire.
Lisa Yon's unique 'dual' role will ensure that students graduate with the appropriate training in exotic animals and open up new avenues for research which will benefit exotic animals in the wild as well as in collections across the world.
Dr Yon, who qualified as a vet at Cornell University and went on to study reproductive physiology in elephants at UC Davis, University of California, said: "I was keen to work with wildlife from the very start but there was no proper guidance and I had to make my own way. I don't want that to happen to our students. I want to ensure that students have opportunities to explore any interests they may have in zoo and wildlife work, and to encourage that interest as best I'm able."
Plundering the expertise based at the vet school Lisa is in the process of establishing a number of new research projects at the Zoo. The aim is to teach students the principles of research and developing hypothesis. When the first cohort of year three students return in
|Contact: Lisa Yon|
University of Nottingham