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Phinda Wildlife Research Project: 28 November - 12 December 2023*
72 Hours in Wildlife Veterinary A&E
“How was your weekend?” is a standard Monday morning greeting. If anyone asked Dr Rogers and team this Monday, the likely response would have been “What weekend?!” Here is a run down of the wildlife cases that his clinic dealt with between Friday and Sunday night!
South Africa is struggling with a continued drought. Usually, by Feburary the land should be lush and green revived after the rainy season. This year, the rains didn’t come, and there is little vegetation to graze on. This young kudu was brought to the clinic after it collapsed, unable to suckle from its mother.
Onwards to a baby hippo with an abscess on his hind leg. And on Saturday afternoon the team were called out to a nearby reserve where a buffalo was found with a snare around his leg. The snare was removed, the wound cleaned and disinfected and the buffalo was given an antibiotic.
On Sunday an ongoing patient required follow-up treatment: This rhino survived a poaching attack and was left with horrific wounds where the poachers hacked off the horn. The wound needs to be cleaned and the cast renewed to prevent infection. Treatment for these survivors carries on for several months – every rhino is worth a fight!
A little elephant was another victim of the drought. He was trapped in a waterhole near Phalaborwa Mines – his herd must have used the waterhole in want of other water sources.
After he was freed conservationists tried repeatedly to reintroduce him to the closets elephant breeding herds, but the efforts were unsuccessful. The vet team finally took him to the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre to be looked after.
If this sounds like the kind of weekend you’d like to have, take a look at the Shimongwe Wildlife Veterinary Experience!