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Veterinary Assistant

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The Centre for Education, Research and Conservation of Primates and Nature (CERCOPAN) is a UK-registered Charity (Reg. No. 1116955) with operations in Cross River State, Nigeria. Since 1995, CERCOPAN has worked to conserve Nigeria's primates and rainforests. Taking an integrated approach to conservation, CERCOPAN's work benefits monkeys, communities, and the rainforest to ensure long-term sustainable impact. CERCOPAN has two sites: our administrative and primate rehabilitation headquarters in Calabar, and our conservation centre at Rhoko, Iko Esai. At the moment, CERCOPAN cares for 172 monkeys in various stages of rehabilitation.

The Position

CERCOPAN is looking for a voluntary Veterinary Nurse to start as soon as possible. The Veterinary Nurse's primary function is to ensure that the health of all CERCOPAN animals is maintained and that disease and injury are prevented wherever possible. The Veterinary Nurse will work in close cooperation with the Sanctuary Manager, Head Keeper and visiting Veterinarians in the best interests of CERCOPAN and as required by the Director.

Specific tasks include:

Animal Husbandry

Feeding and Nutrition - ensure an adequate and balanced diet is provided, water is always available and weight checks on animals.
Enclosure Enrichment - ensure enclosures are adequately enriched, and enrichment and enclosure "furnishings" are
changed frequently.
Sanitation – liaise with Head Keeper to ensure that enclosures are adequately cleaned.
Enclosure Repairs - ensure that enclosures remain in good repair report any issues to Head Keeper.
Assist with movements of primates between enclosures, in consultation with Sanctuary Manager and Director, and where applicable Veterinarian.


Ensure the veterinary facilities are kept clean and well stocked, and advise the Sanctuary Manager whichsupplies are needed from abroad in good time.
Ensure that the health of all primates and domestic animals is maintained, which will include but not be limited to (assisting the Veterinary with) procedures.
Maintenance and adherence to veterinary protocol, including preventative medicine.
Assisting with testing, nutrition, monitoring of weight, socialisation of quarantine animals.
Emergency medicine and procedures
Care and treatment of sick animals
Undertake daily health checks of all animals
Assist with and assess medical issues that arise in the Rhoko forest site.


Prepare written monthly reports in the requested format.
Ensure that staff medical records are maintained and adequate health checks carried out on a regular basis according to CERCOPAN's established protocol for primate care staff.


Veterinary nursing qualification
Management experience
Problem solving and communication skills
Pro-active in suggesting / devising ideas, systems and solutions
Leadership skills
Computer skills
Ability to work alone on designated projects, and ability to work well within a team, to communicate effectively and support more senior and also junior staff.


Culturally sensitive
An interest in conservation, primates and environmentalism
Attentive to accuracy and detail
Quick learner, multi-tasker, self-motivated
Flexible, team player, dedicated, hard working, perceptive
Ability to act on own initiative and solve problems as they arise.

We offer a challenging position for those willing to make a 2-year commitment. Room and board will be provided, as well as a home flight, a modest stipend, and in-country visa expenses. A one year contract may be considered depending on qualifications and experience.

Please send covering letter, references (preferably email contact) and CV to nicolien.schoneveld@cercopan.org. Position open untill filled.



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