Ep 70: Dr Ben Howitt - Conservation, Coastlines & Community - A Vet's Galapagos Journey
On today’s show, we have the pleasure of being in the company of Dr Ben Howitt.
Ben is the Founder & Managing Director of Pan Animalia Galápagos and is an International Veterinary Manager with Worldwide Veterinary Service.
He was brought up in Singapore and studied at the University of Bristol Vet School in the UK. Following graduation, Ben spent three years of mixed clinical practice on the Channel Island of Guernsey before moving to the Galápagos Islands to manage a volunteer and charitable veterinary clinic run by a US charity.
He completed this work in 2019, returning to the UK to start his own foundation called Pan Animalia and subsequently teamed up with Worldwide Vet Services as one of their project managers.
Pan Animalia’s mission is to conserve endemic wildlife populations in the Galapagos islands by preventing competition, predation, and infectious disease transmission from the domestic animal population.
This, in part, means working to educate local communities but also setting up local population control systems and preventive vaccination programs.
The foundation is doing terrific work and in the past year since opening has completed more than 700 surgeries, attended more than 1300 animals, hosted 32 students and volunteers, visited 8 local schools and created one awesome team!
In 2020 his efforts and ambition were recognised as he was nominated for the British Veterinary Association’s Young Vet of the Year award.
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Now, back to the show…
Ben has been on my Instagram radar for ages as we both share a passion for animals and the ocean, but due to both of our seemingly outstanding efforts at not being timezones, it literally took about two years to get this interview arranged. I’ve not had a lot of guests from the world of conservation so it was great to hear about Ben’s passion for conserving utterly essential ecosystems, and the work he’s doing to help protect an area made most famous by Charles Darwin himself.
So without further ado, sit back and enjoy this conversation with vet conservationist and lover of oceans, Dr Ben Howitt!