The last couple weeks has allowed us, here at Sabie Game Park, the pleasure of hosting and working with wildlife veterinarian Doctor Juao Almeida from Portugal. The good doctor has an affinity for animals which is clear to see in the work he does. On top of this he communicates fluently with the community members, as he is Portuguese, which is always a big advantage.
The Doc. helped us collar our first lioness and this time doctored and injured elephant bull as well as fitted a collar on a magnificent male lion.
Collaring the lion went as smooth as silk with the help of one of our IAPF rangers Tiaan and his new trainees from the Maputo Special Elephant Reserve. The trainees were able to pinpoint the location of the lion which was darted soon after in broad daylight. In no time the doc. had taken his samples, fitted the collar and administered the reversal drug. Theres nothing quite as satisfying as a well-executed operation.
The elephant on the other hand was a little trickier, who would have thought the world’s largest land mammal, hampered by a foot injury, would be so hard to find?
After hours of tracking, the elephant was located and pumped with 1.2ml of M99 (tranquilizer). Our team found that the poor animal had been shot twice in the back left leg by poachers, no doubt causing some irritation I am sure!
Doc. Almeida wasted no time and got stuck into the infected wound cleaning out all the nasty’s that had accumulated. The reversal drug was administered and our jumbo was back on his feet in no time.
Something like a bullet wound can take some time to heal so we make an effort of finding the big guy to check up on his progress and although he is still limping, the swelling has gone down and he seems to be recovering well. Within the next few weeks we will tranquilize him again and administer another healthy dose of anti-biotics.
Well done to all those that were involved and thank you Doc., we look forward to working with you again soon.
This month we will be fitting collars onto our resident rhino population which will be a massive operation. Watch this space!
In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks – John Muir