A University of Namibia wildlife field practical at the Otjikoto B2Gold reserve early Tuesday morning was delayed after a helicopter crash. No one was injured.
The accident occurred before a scheduled capture of large wild herbivores, conducted by 20 fourth-year veterinary students and their two specialist lecturers in wildlife clinical studies.
The students started their excursion on Monday and will end tomorrow.
Unam students in the School of Veterinary Medicine study a unique vet programme, specialising in domestic and wild animals.
Unam spokesperson John Haufiku told New Era yesterday that the helicopter, operated by partners of the university, was searching for animals when the pilot experienced engine problems and crashed into a pan.
“The pilot was not harmed whatsoever and does not require medical attention. No students were close to the scene – and all Unam students and staff on-site are safe and fine. This is thanks to strict safety protocols for a field excursion such as this one,” remarked Haufiku.
The associate dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine Anna Marais said: “The game capture is scheduled to continue using alternative methods, so students will still receive their much-needed practical training in the capture of wildlife.”
She further added veterinary wildlife management is a key part of sustaining and protecting the country’s wildlife.
She explained this is not only for tourism and export purposes but also important for maintaining biodiversity and sustaining a healthy food chain.