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Zanri Strydom – we checked in

Dr Zanri Strydom – one of Curro Langebaan’s inaugural learners – recently checked in with us on how her life has evolved since we last spoke with her. She obtained her PhD in nature conservation at Nelson Mandela University (George campus) and was appointed in a managerial position at Dunefields Private Nature Reserve.


Here’s what she shared with us:

One morning at work, nine years ago, she and her colleagues found a Cape cormorant (seabird) along the West Coast. The bird was exhausted from being blown off course after a night of storms and his rehabilitation journey changed her career path and inspired her to focus on seabird research.

‘It sounds so cliché but I have always had a love for wild animals (especially spotted hyena and Burchell’s zebra) so always knew I wanted to work with them in their natural habitat. Little did I know what a great turn my career would take, and I am so grateful that it did.’

Zanri credits her Curro school with teaching her about self-discipline, taking ownership, being goal-driven and thinking critically. ‘I learned that nothing in life is easy, but with hard work you can achieve your goals. I headed into my university journey with all these life lessons, already well-equipped for the challenges that were ahead.’

She also highlighted the importance of practical experience. While studying, she volunteered at numerous conservation organisations. Besides providing valuable real-life experience, this helped her truly find her direction and ever-growing passion for seabirds.

While her previous goal was to obtain her PhD, she has now set her sights on raising public awareness around conservation while working with seabirds and other wildlife.


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