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Veterinary Manager

Hiring Organization:
Société de Conservation et de Développement - Conservation

Date Posted:

Position Description:
Project Background

The Fernan-Vaz Gorilla Project (FVGP) is a conservation project coordinated by the Société de Conservation et de Développpement (SCD) - Conservation, in affiliation with Africa’s Eden, an ecotourism operation with the objective of having tourism pay for conservation.

The FVGP is a Sanctuary and Rehabilitation Centre for western lowland gorillas that integrates responsible tourism for the former, and is hoping to achieve reintroduction for the latter. The project is located just north of Loango National Park in Gabon, Central Africa. All FVGP gorillas have been orphaned by the bush meat trade. The FVGP is not yet approved by PASA, but seeks advice from PASA and works collaboratively with the CIRMF and in some advisory capacity from the PPG.

The Sanctuary consists of a forested enclosure where 3 male gorillas live. These gorillas can never be considered for reintroduction. They instead act as conservation ambassadors and help us educate national and international visitors to Evengue Island where around 10 tourists can sleep overnight.

The Rehabilitation Centre is spread out between two islands: Evengue island and Orique Island. On Evengue Island, there is a “cold” quarantine facility (un-occupied at the moment) and a wooden orphanage (un-used at the moment). Orique island is located a little over 6 KM from Evengue island by boat and there are currently 6 orphaned gorillas on this island being rehabilitated with the goal of reintroduction. There is no tourism activities integrated in this division of the FVGP.
The FVGP campsite is located in Opando located just 600 meters across Orique Island on mainland.

The FVGP veterinarian is expected to oversee the management of all nine gorillas, as well as to coordinate tourist education and visit regulations.

Position Description:


1) Daily supervision of the husbandry and care of all nine FVGP gorillas. There is currently seven local staff with tenure of more than 2-year duration who are well-familiarised with the gorillas. It is important to minimise “human exposure” to the rehabilitation centre gorillas so that exposure should be minimised to gorilla medical interventions and evaluation of staff performance only;

2) Overseeing and maintaining the gorilla health prevention program;

3) Overseeing the gorilla nutritional program;

4) Listening on, and making sure the team leaders record the, daily verbal and written reports of all the gorillas’ daily activities recorded by the keepers;

5) Daily discussion with the team leaders as per the next day’s planning with a focus on developing local competencies;

6) Coordinating the confiscation and quarantine ( biosecurity, health screening, regulations) of all incoming gorilla orphans with national authorities and organisations;

7) Coordinating and further developing the FVGP gorilla infrastructures (Sanctuary enclosures) and rehabilitation program (i.e. release site);


8) Daily management of seven (7) local staff. There are two (2) team leaders (one responsible for the Sanctuary, and another responsible for the Rehabilitation Centre) and five (5) keepers (one (1) for the Sanctuary and four (4) for the Rehabilitation Centre);

9) Training of incoming staff on gorilla husbandry and care;

10) Organizing monthly salaries and daily accounting in accordance with the FVGP’s annual operational budget with regular communication with the FVGP’s in-country and out-of-country accountants ;

11) Up-keeping the Employee Health Prevention (EHP) program in collaboration with a local Port-Gentil physician;

12) Continuing and developing the FVGP staff’s on-going training program (botany, forest navigation, etc.) with a focus on developing the local competencies;

TOURISM (only with respect to the Sanctuary gorillas)

13) Implementing the regulations and policies developed for all tourism visits;

14) Overseeing the on-going education of all FVGP visitors prior to visiting the Sanctuary gorillas;

15) Advising SCD-Conservation and Africa’s Eden on tourist health prevention;

16) Being available for conservation discussions and / or meals with Africa’s Eden tourists;


17) Overseeing the on-going education of all FVGP visitors prior to visiting the Sanctuary gorillas;

18) Continuing and further developing the local education program started in October 2008 at the FVGP;

19) Integrating and regulating responsible media with the goal of curbing the bush meat trade by exposing the relevant issues;

20) Maintaining regular updates and communication on FVGP’s upcoming website;

21) Overseeing in-country logistics of qualified researchers coming on behalf of the Fernan-Vaz Gorilla Project (FVGP);

22) Approving and regulating any type of non-invasive research allowed at the FVGP after an adequate screening process of the research project and/or researcher;


23) Collaborate with the CIRMF, PPG, JGI and other National organizations in the placement of great-ape orphans and the development of great-ape conservation strategies;

24) Seek advice from PASA with respect to maintaining the most up-to-date management practices;

1. DVM degree ;

2. At least two years of experience with African orphaned great apes (gorilla experience preferred);

3. At least two years of experience in Africa and managing local staff;

4. Fluent French-speaking mandatory (fluency in English an asset);

5. At least one year of African experience as a veterinarian;

6. Proven communication and leadership skills.

To be negotiated based on qualifications and experience.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
One annual return-airfare;
Food and basic accommodation;
Medical costs: to be discussed

Term of Appointment:
A 6 month to one-year contract with an initial 3-month trial period. The FVGP would like to develop a rotation system between 1-3 vets (there is currently one vet available for holiday replacements and, eventually, for a 4-6 month rotation system).

Application Deadline:
August 1, 2009

Please send your CV and the name and contact of two referees.

Contact Information:
Nick Bachand

E-mail Address:

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