SHE’S terrified of spiders but Danielle Shortall is planning to spend the summer working with wild animals in the heart of Africa.
The 20-year-old from Westacres is going to South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique as a conservation volunteer at game parks looking after antelope, zebra, giraffes and other animals.
Danielle is in her second year at Queen’s University studying for a degree in Biological Science and has a particular interest in evolution and conservation.
She spotted a chance to work as a volunteer in Africa during an open day at Queen’s.
Daniel, a former student at Drumgor Primary School, Brownlow College and Lismore Comprehensive, is very excited about her trip.
She will be involved with the conservation of endangered species and habitats, surveying and monitoring African animals and the protection of fragile ecosystems within game reserves.
“I am doing this through a company called International Student Volunteers (ISV) that I got involved with through my university,” she told the Mail.
“We had a representative from ISV come in to university to talk to us, and it just seemed so interesting,” she said.
“I wanted to do something over my summer, so when they mentioned it was working with the environment and with animals it was something different to do.
“Animals have always interested me and working to make a difference in something that is not really known about was important to me.
“I am really looking forward to getting away for four weeks and doing something that will make a difference and experiencing what life is like out there compared to over here,” she said.
“Its not the wild animals I’m afraid of. I’m actually looking forward to that. It’s the wee bugs I’m terrified of. I do not do spiders at all and the fact I’m going over to ones the size of dinner plates is just scary.
Danielle plans to jet off to Africa in August for four weeks and is running a number of fundraising events to help finance the trip.
“I need £2,445 for the four weeks, and then my flights on top of that; I haven’t got a quote for the flights yet,” said Danielle.
She has organised a ‘Back to School’ night in the Courthouse Bar in Lurgan for April 26 with everyone coming in their old school gear.
She is also organising a sponsored walk up Slieve Donard with friends over the Easter break.
A link to the website for the organisation running conservation volunteering is http://www.isvolunteers.org/