My Experience Tracking Rhinos in Namibia with WildTrack

June 29th, 2018

By Katrina Leser, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida

My involvement with WildTrack began a little over a year ago while interning at an elephant research and education facility in South Africa.

WildTrack was beginning to investigate the possibility of creating an FIT algorithm for African elephants and I was tasked with the job of collecting the initial stockpile of photos from which Zoe and Sky could base their measurements. It was a straightforward project and a good introduction to the processes used in footprinting; I simply had to walk the tamed animals across a pre-raked sandpit, then place the ruler next to the prints and take photos. After taking a couple hundred pictures, I assumed I had mastered the task.

When I arrived in Namibia this summer to help with the rhino pilot program, I was in for a shock.