The Malilangwe Course on Chemical and Physical Restraint of African Wildlife has a student to teacher ratio of 7:1. The students are allocated teams of which there are four (A, B, C and D). Each team has 2 lecturers, a team captain (usually an experienced wildlife veterinarian or wildlife manager/researcher who is often on a refresher course) and team members. Each team is allocated a colour, this then allows the team access to colour coded field equipment and drugs.
The teams are also given a primary field operation, which may, for example, include immobilizing an elephant, rhino, lion etc. Each team also conducts range darting and demonstrations coached by a Team Captain and supported by experienced lecturers. Constant oversight by the lecturers supported by the Team Captains ensures smooth operations and limits mistakes. This is a training program and mistakes can provide useful information and be a credible learning experience – expect the unexpected! Although every effort is made to reduce stress and any capture related injuries, there can be no guarantee that animals will not be hurt, nor that people might suffer some injury (an indemnity is signed at the beginning of the course), commonsense should prevail – Malilangwe is a wildlife area with dangerous game!