The Academy

The Wildlife Forensic Academy is developed to: combat wildlife crime trough the mobilisation of wildlife forensic science, educate learners and professionals around the globe. The Wildlife Forensic Academy is situated in the Western Cape near the iconic city of Cape Town

forensics and environmental protection

Prevention of poaching, organized crime, illicit trade and the destruction of our environment and critical resources have become each human’s responsibility – with the right training/education and forensic skills you will be a valuable asset to any organization or company in need of your skill set.

The training program will equip you to:

  • Recognize human-wildlife conflict
  • Recognize and preserve the crime scene
  • Understand the criminal justice chain
  • Apply the role of forensic science
  • Detect, collect and analyze traces of evidence
  • Help reduce/prevent the killing or abuse of animals
  • Guarantee a fair trial
  • Reduce illicit trade
  • Identify human traces, non-human traces, chemical traces, physical traces and digital trace technology

Wildlife forensic knowledge and awareness is a must for students and professionals, but in particular: Forensic Science students; Veterinary Science and Nursing students; Conservation students; Ecology students; criminal prosecutors (organized crime, conservation); insurance companies; legislation and policy drafters; and prosecution authorities.

Learning Concept

The academy has an innovative and unique learning concept consisting of 3 stages, namely: 

  • Theoretical training
  • Virtual reality training
  • Practical wildlife field training


During the first stage, learners (students and professionals) receive theoretical training to improve knowledge and fundamental methodologies needed to approach the various wildlife forensics skills which will be covered during the programme. This will include areas such as wildlife veterinary and nursing, conservation and ecology.


During the second stage, state-of-the-art virtual reality (VR) techniques and training will be covered. This learning phase allows learners to experience situations and scenarios which are normally rather unpleasant. VR enables us to challenge and educate learners, stimulate scenarios and enforce calls-to-action under pressured situations in safe circumstances.

In addition, this stage will include a pioneering experience lab – an indoors stimulated wildlife crime scene, where learners will need to approach the crime scene and practice the skills and processes they have learned during the course. The experience lab is a specialized data-capturing environment, which allows learners to further immerse themselves in a real-life example.


During the final stage, the learners will visit a wildlife game reserve to consolidate their learning experience in a real crime scene environment. Practical wildlife veterinary, conservation or ecology work will be the main focus.


The experience lab comprises of an 800 square meter state-of-the-art wildlife forensic training facility. In the experience lab, students are taught to think in stimulated crime scenarios.

How do we link perpetrators to a crime scene? What is the relationship between a scene, the offender and the victim? What is the value of forensic tracing?

The lab consists of several crime scenes such as:

  • Wildlife crime scenes
  • Furnished house (crime scene)
  • Street with cars (crime scene)

The scenes are staged with cameras, microphones and sensors in order to monitor, record and store the data regarding human behaviour at the crime scene. In an observation room, lecturers are able to monitor (on screens) the behaviour of students when performing a crime scene investigation. Analysis is performed on movement in the crime scene, item handling, systematic approach to evidence (collection, contamination, disturbing, capturing). All data is recorded and stored, allowing lectures and students to review and improve their behaviour to maximize future results

The experience lab consists of a forensic training laboratory, a virtual reality training facility and classrooms which will provide learners with a next generation learning experience. This approach accommodates learners with varying expertise and literacy levels – greatly reducing barriers to entry for all walks of life.