Tagging lions and standing face to face with poachers: Kerry follows her African dream

 

Last year, University of Lincoln alumna Kerry Sedgewick’s (BSc Animal Management and Welfare, 2011) dream of beginning a career in African wildlife conservation became a reality when she was given the opportunity to embark on a three-month research trip to Mozambique, to collect data for National Geographic and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University of South Africa.

Kerry worked as a research assistant, where she conducted studies into predator conservation science; collecting information on wild animals such as lions, leopards and wild dogs in the wilderness of the African bush.

   

“The job involved making sure we had all the necessary equipment for the day, walking distances of up to and over twenty kilometres a day, collecting scat and recording data such as kills, poacher camps and prints,” says Kerry.

Kerry’s research role in Mozambique came after her previous work experience in South Africa, where she went for three months to develop her CV by working at a conservation reserve. “I learnt a lot there, which prepared me for my role in Mozambique.”

Besides her extensive work experience, Kerry also credits the University of Lincoln for helping her get to where she is now, especially with the support she was given for her dyslexia.

I had great support whenever I needed it, and the Library was a great place to be in with so much information and help,” says Kerry. “Without my Degree I wouldn’t have been considered for the research assistant role. It was my golden ticket to be recognised in the world of my dream career.”

Since returning to the UK, Kerry has been working as a careworker for Mosaic to support her ambition to attain a job in African lion conservation.

Through networking with the contacts she built in Africa, Kerry has further plans to visit the continent later in the year. “I plan to visit Uganda around April-time to help with sponsors for a conservation education centre,” says Kerry. “I also plan to assist in making a park to release lions
at the George Adamson reserve in Kenya.”

Kerry constantly takes steps to achieve her ultimate dream, often contacting her heroine, Virginia McKenna of international wildlife charity, Born Free, for tips. “I have met her and we email regularly. She has given me great advice,” says Kerry. "I have learnt to never be afraid to go for it & take that leap. It could be the best thing you've ever done."

 

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Story credits: Isabel Laycock

February 2015

   

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