My name is Stephanie Campbell. I had the opportunity to come to CCF as part of my studies in zoology at Oregon State University. Before I arrived, I was, admittedly, pretty nervous being that it was my first trip to Africa and the longest I’d been away from home. I had no idea what to expect but quickly realized how special the experience would be.
For 10 weeks, I was immersed into the intimate workings of CCF. As expected, I helped with the not-so-glamorous tasks that need to be done. I fed livestock guarding dogs, washed feeding bowls, and cleaned pens; I scanned documents into the computers and entered information into databases. However, the opportunities to do things that can’t be experienced anywhere else were priceless. I observed wildlife from a hide on 12 hour waterhole counts and counted herds of antelope on game drives. I tracked released cheetahs in the bush and I observed and assisted with a surgery on a cheetah.
The work is hard and the days long. After all, animals don’t care about work hours or weekends. Although my time with them was relatively short, the people at CCF made quite an impression. It’s truly inspiring to see people from all over the world coming together and working so hard for the sake of cheetahs. This internship at the Cheetah Conservation Fund has helped reinforce that I’m in the right field of work. I not only gained valuable experience but also made a number of new friends and connections. I hope that, one day, I can return to Namibia and continue working with this great organization.