It hasn’t taken long for Kristen McCurdy to get accustomed to her new surroundings this summer.
“I’ve been in South Africa for three days and I’m already in love,” Kristen wrote.
The Stephens junior is spending three months in South Africa as part of the African Conservation Experience. She’s documenting the experience—and posting lots of interesting photographs—on a new Stephens blog.
As part of the program, Kristen—a biology major with an equestrian minor—is working with rescued animals, giving injections and caring for young wildlife at the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
In her first month, she’s cared for lion cubs, helped rehab a Marshall Eagle born prematurely, bottle fed a giraffe and took care of a baby baboon that needed 24-hour attention.
She’s also learning more about exotic animals and sharing that information with readers. Hippos, for instance, might be portrayed as cute cartoon characters in America, but they’re really dangerous, Kristen wrote. That said, she had a chance to feed them from the safety of a vehicle.
Kristen first traveled to Africa while in high school and knew she wanted to return.
“I like the African culture,” she said. “It’s so much different than ours. It’s not ‘hurry up,’ it’s ‘how do you get to help someone else today?’ And I love giving back.”