VETERINARY nurse Christine Abbott is swapping life at a rural North Yorkshire practice to help lions, rhinos, elephants and giraffes in South Africa.

Christine will be among a group of volunteers taking part in a conservation project at the Welgevendon Private Game Reserve in South Africa.

The 24-year-old, from York, flies out on August 13 as part of a delegation of vets and veterinary nurses, who will live for two weeks in a tent at a research camp, surrounded by wildlife.

Christine, who works at both Mount Veterinary Group in Malton and Minster Vets in York, will have the chance to experience hands-on wildlife veterinary work behind the scenes at one of South Africa’s biggest game reserves, including game capture and relocation, meerkat tracking, collecting DNA from rhinos and helping in the conservation of endangered species.

“It is going to be the experience of a lifetime,” she said. “I am most excited about working with lions as I love cats, especially big cats.

“The trip is going to be very rewarding and it is also a great opportunity to travel and experience another lifestyle.”