HANNA CITY, Ill.– The drop in temperature means vaccination time for a few animals at Wildlife Prairie Park.

The park’s team enlisted the help of four students from the University of Illinois College Of Veterinary Medicine and rounded up 35 bison and 25 elk, Wednesday, to give the furry bunch their yearly vaccines and de-worming treatment.

Roberta English, the park’s executive director, said this is the third year the park has partnered with the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. English says

“They come out here twice a year to help us with our animals and through that partnership our animals have gotten a lot healthier and we have more births,” English said. “They help us with feeding them the right things and giving them the right medical attention.”

Brad Windsor, volunteer coordinator, said this opportunity offers a unique educational experience for the students to work with animals they normally would not have the chance to work with.

In addition to de-worming treatments, the animals also received respiratory vaccines and multi-minerals.

One of the students, Lauren Mumm, said she’s grateful for this experience because it gives students liker her practice with wilder animals.

“I’m interested in zoo and conservation medicine, so obviously zoo and wildlife centers have a ton of ruminant and hoof stock species in them,” Mumm said. “So this is something I was really happy to be doing today and to get this experience.”

There were other students like, Gabrielle Bruggeman, who praised the program and the well-rounded experience it provides although she plans on working with more domestic animals.

“You want to expose yourself to as much as you possibly can and you know if you have the passion for it you can do anything you want in veterinary medicine,” Bruggeman said.

Mumm said she recommends this experience to anyone passionate about animals and understands the importance of keeping them healthy.

“It could be rain or shine and you’re out here and you’re constantly moving and constantly doing something to prevent these diseases that are uncontrollable in the environment in these animals and it’s really important,” Mumm said.