Vet protects City’s wildlife

2019-08-27 06:01
Dr Dorothy Breed, a veterinarian and urban wildlife specialist for the City of Cape Town.

Dr Dorothy Breed, a veterinarian and urban wildlife specialist for the City of Cape Town.

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Dr Dorothy Breed, a veterinarian and urban wildlife specialist in the City of Cape Town’s environmental management department, has always had her finger on nature’s pulse.

Dr Breed became a veterinarian because she wanted to positively contribute to the “bigger” picture.

“I was working at a private veterinary practice when I realised that if I wanted to move further in the field, I would have to empower myself with education,” Breed said.

This is an assertion she lives up to, and counting among her credentials are a Bachelor of veterinary science from the University of Pretoria (2006), and a Masters in international animal health from the University of Edinburgh (2014).

She is currently in her final year of study towards a PhD in physiology (wildlife) at the University of Cape Town.

Previously, Dr Breed worked in private veterinary practice in South Africa and the UK.

In 2012, she started her own practice rendering wildlife veterinary services in and around Cape Town.

During this time, she dealt with many species including domestic, farm, exotic and wild animals.

In 2017, Dr Breed joined the City of Cape Town as a veterinarian and urban wildlife specialist.

Her role in the biodiversity management branch is to provide veterinary support and advice for any animal interventions planned or needed in conservation areas.

“Working with wildlife and people can be very challenging, but it also keeps working life interesting and very fulfilling when you have positive achievements,” said Dr Breed.

Some of her career highlights include reintroducing eland to Blaauwberg Nature Reserve and translocating the City’s bontebok herd to a new site.

“It is a rewarding career, but it also has its challenges. For instance, managing wildlife in an urban setting can be difficult due to the different views that people have towards animals. You have to constantly navigate between best practice, science, animal welfare and human interest,” said Dr Breed. With August being Women’s Month, the City is celebrating the many extraordinary women employed by the administration.

Dr Breed is its only female wildlife veterinarian for the City.

Mayco member for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt said: “I am proud of her achievements and contribution to the conservation of Cape Town’s wildlife. It’s not every day that you will find women working with wildlife, and doing it with such passion. She is a real asset, and our wildlife is lucky to have her.”

Urban conservation is a growing international field and important in creating a sustainable city.

The conservation services unit within the biodiversity management branch works to promote and build conservation within the City of Cape Town. “Who better to lead and promote nature conversation than the dynamic Dr Breed,” said Nieuwoudt.

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