This summer, Chloe Creque, 19, of Metamora OH, spent two weeks in Australia helping animals and learning hands-on what it’s like to be a veterinarian.
Traveling with study-abroad organization Loop Abroad, Chloe was selected as part of a small team that volunteered at Walkabout Wildlife Park caring for kangaroos, koalas, and other Australian animals.
The Veterinary Service program brings students to Australia for two weeks to volunteer alongside veterinarians from the US and from Australian animal experts and rangers.
Chloe and her team took a course in Australian Wildlife Handling, Conservation, and Care so that they could be better equipped to study and help support the animals at Walkabout.
The focus of the program is on learning from veterinarians, conservationists, and animal experts so that the volunteers can bring this experience and cross-cultural learning to their veterinary studies.
The facility where they work helps to care for animals in need, to conserve local wild space, and to breed endangered animals such as quolls in breeding programs that can help to ensure the safe release of such animals and help their species numbers increase.
The veterinary service program helps to support these efforts and provide medical care and zoo enrichment to the animals at the facility, while providing students like Chloe with an education in zoo and wildlife medicine techniques.
Chloe and her team provided care for the animals at Walkabout, including feedings, health checks, enrichments, and routine care. The facility is home to kangaroos, wallabies, wallaroos, echidnas, koalas, dingos, quolls, wombats, possums, flying foxes, pythons, turtles, kookaburras, and a number of other species of mammals, reptiles, and birds. Of course, there are wild snakes and spiders too!
Loop Abroad has animal science and veterinary programs for students and young adults age 14 to 30, and offers financial aid and fundraising help.
Programs range from two weeks in summer to a full semester abroad, and college credit is available. Interested participants can inquire or apply at www.LoopAbroad.com.
Admission to veterinary programs is selective and Chloe was selected based on her transcript, admissions essay, and professional references.
By following a study abroad model instead of a voluntourism model, Loop focuses on educating its students so that they can contribute and serve in meaningful ways.
It also works with locally run animal welfare and conservation organizations so that students contribute to long-term improvement on the ground in the countries they visit.
With programs in Thailand, South Africa, Australia, Costa Rica, Spain and Belize, Loop Abroad is able to support animal welfare and conservation around the world because of its students and their dedication to helping animals in need.
The program’s Managing Director Jane Stine says, “Our students are some of the most amazing people I have ever met. They are kind, compassionate,
dedicated, hard-working individuals who have big goals and want to make a big impact. It’s amazing to see how eager they are to learn and challenge themselves. Over the last thirteen years, we’ve seen them go on to do some wonderful things.”
Of her trip, Chloe says, “I am so fortunate to have been given this incredible opportunity through Loop Abroad.”
“It has been my dream to travel to Australia to work and learn about their native wildlife because they are some of the most unique & diverse animals on this planet.”
“I also learned about Australian conservation efforts and because of this opportunity I now know that I want to continue my career path to become a wildlife veterinarian and help save endangered animals.”
Chloe is a graduate from Evergreen High School, currently majoring in Zoology at Ohio State University.