Chobe Wildlife Rescue

Dr Clay Wilson Founder/Director Chobe Wildlife Rescue
About Dr. Clay Wilson
View - As Wild As It Gets - .PDF

There is nothing more satisfying than darting a magnificent animal like an elephant that is sick. In most instances they have a snare around their leg. Treating it and waking it up so that it will live to see another wonderful day in the paradise of Chobe.

I traded the high pace Rat race of private veterinary practice in Florida 4 years ago for the peace and tranquility of the African bush. I volunteer my services to the national parks and have healed and alleviated pain and suffering in hundreds of different wild animals in the last 3 years. Recently myself and my girlfriend singlehandedly vaccinated 650 domesticated dogs in this small community in an attempt to prevent the spread of Distemper virus into the wildlife predator population. We were successful. Every day is a new adventure never a dull moment.

Conservation, preservation and mercy is our passion

Iím Dr Clay Wilson. I was born in South Africa and at 2 years old we immigrated to Mexico were I spent the next 12 years. I spoke Spanish as a first language. We returned to RSA at 13 and later graduated from Sandton High School. After a short military stint, I was accepted in college in USA. I graduated from University of Florida with a BSC in Zoology in 1979. After a yearís break working as a game warden In Sabi Sabi, I went to veterinary school at Onderstepoort Pretoria graduating in 1987. I married an Afrikaans girl and we moved to USA were I established and owned a large veterinary hospital in Cortez Florida for 17 years. I managed 20 staff members and volunteered my services to local wildlife rescue organizations. I was considered a specialist in Orthopedics, small animal medicine and exotics. I reached the top of my field and had no longer a challenge and got bored, so I sold the practice after one day on the market, moved to Chobe and it has taken me 4 years to get in with Department of Wildlife and Parks on a volunteer basis.

I am the Wildlife Veterinarian for Chobe National park. I speak with an American accent but I am as African as the soil. I taught myself to dart and treat wildlife and have saved hundreds of wounded or sick animals. Iím passionate about wildlife. I have expended most of my lifeís savings into wildlife treatment in the past few years. I have no regrets about depleting my recourses because I feel like I used that money to give me the opportunity to learn a rare calling and can now truly call myself a Wildlife Veterinarian. I love the challenge of working on these magnificent animals and consider it a privilege and honor to be able to do so. I have many visions of opening a research center and consolidating information past and present, finding a cure for Giraffe Papilloma virus, boosting and preserving the population of Sable and Roan antelope using embryo transfers, repopulating Zimbabweís depleted wildlife population, introducing modern technology to monitor and eradicate poaching using UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles), finding out what has happened to the depleted Lion population, reintroducing and monitoring Rhinoceros among a few.

But for now itís day by day, animal to animal, drama to drama. Africa is harsh and at the same time beautiful. My heart soars at the healing of an elephant and can just as easily sink when I canít treat and have to curtail suffering. Just another day in paradise.

Your help and donations will go directly into purchasing supplies to continue my daily healing. Tranquilized Darts, anesthetic agents. Antibiotics and pain medication, cardiac monitors, syringes and needles, fuel, maintenance of vehicles cost big money here In the isolation of Kasane Botswana

Chobe is in my opinion the most important ecosystem in the world. It is unique in that we have half the population of elephants of the entire world. That is over 160 000 individuals. It is also the highest concentration of varied wildlife in the world. Because of its biodiversity it need special attention and protection which I have pledged the rest of my life to pursue.

Unfortunately this is a small town and there are not enough privately owned pets to support me as a veterinarian. The government does not currently have funds to assist me. The only source of income would come from tourism were I could act as a game guide to support myself, but I am not a licensed guide and am unable to take tours at the moment. In any case I should be out in the bush healing animals and doing research instead of spending hours driving tourists in to the bush and on the Internet seeking funding.

At 50 years old I changed the direction of my life to pursue a new passion for wildlife conservation here in Chobe. I was making a million dollars per year in small animal practice which I sold to be able to follow my dream. That money went very quickly and I would never think I would be in a situation that I had to ask for donations to keep going. Itís quite a humbling experience.

I am attempting to secure a sponsor, to fund my larger projects, but this is very difficult and time consuming.

As individuals, we have and will continue to make a difference in wildlife conservation and hope to leave a legacy behind for future generations to be able to enjoy this magnificent ecosystem.

About Chobe Wildlife Rescue
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