Mac Chirara ’25 Interns at Zimbabwe's Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservancy

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Mac Chirara ’25 at Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservancy

During the summer of 2022, Mac Chirara ’25 pursued field research and volunteered at Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservancy in Zimbabwe. 

Imire is a wildlife conservation center filled with a wide variety of trees, plant life, and grasslands. It is home to several species of large mammals, including elephants, buffaloes, black rhinoceros, white rhinoceros, and more than 200 types of birds. Imire is renowned for its conservation practices in breeding and releasing white and black rhinoceros. 

Mac Chirara ’25 at Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservancy with elephant

For Mac’s field research study, he partnered with Professor Frank Frey to focus on the social ethology of the endangered black and white rhinoceros enclosed within the conservation site. Recorded behavior patterns were compared with data on wild and free-roaming counterparts. He analyzed the processes underlying their evolution and weighed the influences of phylogeny, ecology, morphology, and nutrition.

“This opportunity helped me gain valuable experience in field research,” says Mac. “I am grateful for the chance to take my first steps in having hands-on experience in a career of my passion.”

Colgate and its generous alumni and parent donors offer grants to support students’ living costs and supplemental expenses to pursue unpaid and underpaid summer experiences. Learn more about Colgate summer funding.