MEET THE COUNTRY DIRECTOR
Pippa Young is our Country Director in Botswana. She has been working on animal welfare projects for the past 20 years and joined SPANA in 2015 to launch our work in Botswana.
What is it like working for SPANA in Botswana?
No two days are the same. We go out for four to five days to visit cattle posts and villages to treat sick and injured donkeys and horses. Our work can range from replacing bits and hobbles made of wire to treating wounds made by leopard or crocodile attacks. Working in this country is incredible. Botswana is one of the last Eden’s in the world: I love its space and freedom!
What is the best part of your job?
I love the daily challenges and variety that comes with working with animals, which I have now done professionally for over 20 years. It always keeps you on your toes, sometimes quite literally!
What are the biggest challenges facing working animals in Botswana?
The biggest problems for working animals in Botswana are poor treatment due to lack of education and the lack of equipment. The average person in the region where we work lives on less than one dollar a day, and there are often six people living in a single mud hut without water or electricity. People just don’t have the resources to look after all of their animals.
How important are working animals in Botswana?
Working animals are incredibly important to life in Botswana. Donkeys, especially, are very resilient and are used for transport and for carrying water in rural areas. Farmers also rely on horses for herding their cattle and consider them very valuable.
What has been your most memorable experience while working for SPANA?
The most memorable case for me was when I helped Little Ray of Sunshine, or ‘Ray’ for short. Ray was attacked by a leopard and had huge bite and claw wounds all over his body which had become infected. He’s happily back on his feet now and even lets us groom and pet him.
What are your main goals for helping working animals in Botswana?
I want to make as many people as possible aware of SPANA’s work in Botswana. It’s important that they understand that we’re here to help.