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It is delightful and proud to see more and more young people, especially women, who are passionate and willing to dedicate themselves to the field of wildlife conservation – a demanding and male-dominated field that requires endurance and physical strength.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we would like to share the story of Ngoc Anh – a veterinarian at SVW’s Rescue Center in Cuc Phuong National Park. With her love for wildlife, self-belief, and relentless self-improvement, along with the Captive and VET team, Anh is contributing greatly to the rescue and rehabilitation of numerous wild animals in Vietnam.

Q: What led you to the field of conservation and why did you choose it as a direction to develop your professional expertise?

Anh: Even though I was born and raised in the most developed city in the country, from a young age, I always yearned for and felt a liking for being close to nature, even though I didn’t fully understand why. Fortunately, during a time when the internet was not as advanced, my father would often tune into wildlife channels like Animal Planet, Discovery, and more. This sparked my love for nature and a special fascination with wild animals.

When I turned 12 and gained access to the internet, I discovered the true beauty of the natural world. However, alongside that, I also noticed images of wounds and the sad, fearful eyes of animals being cruelly hunted and killed. From that point on, I became determined to become a wildlife veterinarian, to contribute my love and strength to the healing process as a way of apologizing and making amends for those animals.

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Q: What difficulties have you encountered in your work?

Anh: Speaking of challenges in the work, every job has its own difficulties. Being a veterinarian involves direct involvement in the health of animals, who are “patients” that cannot speak. Every decision made in this profession directly impact the lives of animals. Therefore, it is considered one of the top 8 most stressful and psychologically challenging professions in the world.

In addition, during my work, I have faced certain gender biases due to the nature of the profession, where being physically involved is required. This has resulted in less appreciation compared to male counterparts when dealing with partners or encountering hesitation in communication, making it difficult to delve deeper into issues and gather information for the job. However, I have faith in my abilities and my love for wildlife, as well as my passion for the profession. I always strive to improve and develop myself, hoping that one day I will achieve certain accomplishments and receive more recognition.

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Q: Why did you choose SVW as a place to accompany and dedicate yourself?

Anh: At SVW, I found that the organization’s vision and mission align well with my personal aspirations at the present time. Moreover, the working environment is healthy, fair, equitable, and, most importantly, filled with colleagues who genuinely love animals. Additionally, on a more personal note, I am quite passionate about dinosaurs, even though they are extinct, and whenever looking at the pangolins standing up, I ofter said that they just look like the “Insectivore T-rex” 😀

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Thanks, Anh, for your sharing and we hope your happiness and good health to continue to contribute to the conservation journey.