A trio of students from Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s Ranger Academy have won prized places at veterinary colleges to pursue their dreams.
They were inspired by their spells at the Academy which runs week-long and two-day courses for 15 to 17-year-olds who want to learn more about becoming a vet, vet nurse or animal keeper.
The course, at the award-winning park, has helped several students’ progress into full-time careers working with animals. Another class of students is enjoying the courses this week.
"My time at YWP has definitely helped to prepare me for my future career” says Josh Saxon, 19, who graduated from both Ranger Academy courses, and is now studying Wild Animal Biology at the Royal Veterinary College, based in London.
“It was amazing to see and learn all about the wonderful animals at the Ranger Academy. We saw the lions and tigers up close, it was just incredible.”
The Academy provides unique experiences and realistic insights into animal husbandry with a mix of theory and practical assignments across the park at Branton, near Doncaster.
Students can get close to the park’s wide range of exotic animals, including the country's only four polar bears - Victor, Pixel, Nobby and Nissan – at Project Polar, one of the largest polar bear enclosures in the world.
“We saw them being trained and we hand fed them which was just an unforgettable and unique experience.” says Jack Rust, 18, from Retford, who is now studying Veterinary Science at Bristol University.
“My Ranger Academy experience was fantastic and definitely played a huge part in helping me secure a place at Vet School. The education team are super friendly and approachable. They were so informative and encouraging.”
Students take part in practical workshops as well as watching presentations, demonstrations and animal training in action from the parks animal rangers as part of the Academy courses.
“I learnt so much and loved every second at the academy,” adds 18-year-old Frances Young, from Doncaster, who’s now studying Animal Conversation at the University of Cumbria.
“It’s all thanks to YWP and their courses that I got into university.”
Graduating from the academy strengthens a student’s CV and equips them with vital knowledge and experience as a foundation for future careers.
Successful students receive an award on completion of the course at the graduation ceremony as well as a photo library documenting their journey on the course and a reference statement.
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