Vet nurse Holly Shadiac joined the CVVS team in June, 2016. She comes to us with plenty of experience and plenty of stories to tell from her time working as a safari guide in Africa. Check out the photos below and the link to a YouTube video of Holly getting up close and personal with a cheetah!
1. What’s the best part of your job? Working with animals!!
2. First pet… I was about 4 or 5 years old when I found a litter of feral kittens at Dad’s school (he was the principal). With big brown eyes that had turned into the shape of love hearts, I took one to Mum and pleaded that we take him home. We called him Minty. I also grew up breeding Guinea Pigs as a young girl. And the most beautiful Rottie named Juno.
3. Most surprising animal encounter… I HAVE MANY!! Living in Africa as a Safari guide can clock up many surprising animal encounters.
In the elephant photo, you can see me (the driver) sitting up on my door. We had turned the corner and come across two giant bull elephants. My plan, as we couldn’t pass them, was to face them. I told my guests not to move or make a sound and just enjoy the gracefulness of these incredible giants. As they walked a metre from us, I felt a rush of adrenaline and respect roll over me as I gazed at these wild animals. The photo shows the moment one of the elephants slowly brought his trunk up to have a closer inspection of me. His breath blew the loose hair around my face. It was amazing.
And then there was an encounter with a cheetah, which you can check out here!
4. If you were an animal, what would you be? Definitely an eagle. To fly. I love bird watching and I can’t wait for the day I retire and travel around finding new birds in new forests. It’s such a thrill!
5. What is your top tip for pet owners? If you make the big decision to become a pet owner, just know that it comes with a lot of responsibility and love! Enjoy, enjoy the endless love they give you and use them for “animal therapy”. Somehow they seem to know when you need a good snuggle. But with love, make sure there is training! The new way of training is a lot of positive reinforcement as animals respond a lot better to rewarding good behaviour rather than focusing on bad behaviour. Plus, even 20 minutes out of your day throwing a ball in the yard is better than nothing!