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Posts Tagged ‘bladder stone’

We started the Monday by going to a farm which had a very big herd of buffalo. Buffalo are one of the big 5 here in Africa and is though to be the most dangerous one of them. They are very destructive in their path, ruining trees and branches and can be quite aggressive if one come to close. Especially when they have calves. The buffalo bulls could weight over 1 ton. Marius went up in the helicopter and darted them from the air. Then once the animals were falling asleep the trucks came driving up closer to that one animal. Because they were so heavy we only did 1-2 at the time. Once the animal hit the ground we all ran up to the animal to make sure if was breathing ok, keep it head and body upright. The black workers had stretchers that they got under the animals. Then there wee 16-17 people lifting that one animal up onto the truck. The truck drove the animal to the enclosure where it was spending the next days and it was lifted off the truck again

We injected them with antibiotics for the dart wound and other vitamin, vaccines etc. The buffalo skin was measure and injected with avian (on left) and bovine (on right) TB to be tested for TB, by a new measurement in 3 days. Because their skin is so thick it can be hard to take blood form the cephalic vein and we therefore got to practice taking blood from the air vein. After we were done with this, which had taken most of the day because we could only take 2 at the time, the farmer said he had 30 wilderbeest he wanted moved as well. They were darted 4 at the time and transported to the camps they were moving to, then we gave then antibiotics etc and I got to give some of them a reversal to wake them up through the ear vein. The wilderbeest was moved by truck as well, but the workers didn’t really know how to handle the animals and unfortunately one of them died of asphyxiation because of a handler that carried the animal upside down to the truck.

Tuesday we went to Chad place at castle de wilt again. This time we darted 70 wilderbeest, both golden, blue and black to pregnancy check then in addition to the normal injections and blood sampling of the pregnant once. Because the animals were already stressed and heated from the chase to be darted, the pregnancy could be quite fragile. We therefore only felt the once that were very obvious. It was still a very strange experience to feel the head of a foetus wilderbeest.

Wednesday we were called out to a game reserve quite far away (about 2 hours drive there). A 4 month old Giraffe was not putting any weight on it s right front paw and the owner was concerned that it might be broken. A giraffe is very sensitive to anesthetics, it can easily die and its would therefore only be possible to put a cast on the giraffe if the foot was broken. Marius Louw darted the giraffe from a quad bike this time. The mother was not far away from its baby the whole time we treated it. When the giraffe went down, me and Ele had to sit on its neck to keep it down whilst Marius injected it with a antidote right away to wake it, so that it didn’t die. Ele tried sitting on its neck alone at first, but when the giraffe woke up slightly it had no problem standing up with Ele on its neck. Marius had to practically rugby tackle the little thing to the ground and with me and Ele on its neck it still tried to get up a couple of times. It turned out that the little thing had a gotten a thorn in between its hoof. The torn was taken out and it was given antibiotics. The prognosis was very good. The problem with the farm was that it was very little for and too many animals in the area, so Marius was going to talk to the owner about clearing vegetation to make the farm better for the animals there, the concern at the moment was that the animals there now wasn’t in too good a shape and looked rather scruffy.

On the way home  a farmer called about a sable. It had broken its right metatarsal bone (hindlimb). The sable was given painkillers and taken away from its herd. It was quite young and if a sable is taken out of its herd, there is a very large risk of it being killed when put back in again (by the other sables). Therefore this was removed completely from its herd to be sold of later or put on its own after it had healed in an enclosure. The foot was cast with fiber glass cast and given the necessary antibiotic and painkiller injections.

Thursday we were called out to castle de wilt for a lame black Impala, a lame sable and a golden wilderbeest that didn’t look to good. The sable turned out it had a thorn in its foot as well. It was a beautiful animal with huge anthers it being a male. The wilderbeest had had diarrhea the day before, and it was therefore thought it  could have coccidiosis. This is a parasitic disease of the intestinal tract of animals caused by coccidian protozoa. When the wilderbeest was darted a faecal sample was taken, but there was no diarrhea anymore. The animal was treated with antibiotics and treated for coccidiosis, plus other parasites and ticks to prevent it being darted again. The condition was poorly and it looked shaggy, so time will tell if it makes it.

Because it was 3 days ago since the buffalo had been injected with avian and bovine TB we went back to that game farm to re-measure the skin. The only problem was that 7 buffalo had escaped from the enclosure they were held at, so they would need to be darted and brought in again. The animal in the enclose was very easy to get to, they were darted from the side and when it was safe to enter, we ran in to measure their neck, take out the dart, spray the dart wound and woke them up again. It was a simple and quick thing to do. Now getting the once that escaped was worse. After trying to drive up to them with the truck, Marius decided that they needed the helicopter again. The only problem was that the wind was very strong and the weather was treating for rain. The first pilot they called didn’t dare to come because of the wind, so in the end Lambert came. You could see that the helicopter was struggling, suddenly turning the opposite direction to what it was meant to etc. it started raining, so me & Ele who were standing on the back of the bucky both to pick up the buffalo and riding with one each on the way back to monitor the anaesthesia (breathing), were soaked wet. At one point I was sitting on a calf buffalo who was about the size of a st bernards dog to keep it down before it was lifted up on the truck, and the little thing almost stood up with me on it, whilst being drugged. They are strung even at that age.  We managed to dart and transport all the missing 7, but when transporting the last two it started hailing. Not small hail like at home, but 3-4 cm large hail. Never seen anything like it. After the job was done we stopped and got hot chocolate on the way home and changed tops. All 3:  Ele, Marius and me were soaked to the skin. Driving back it started thundering and lightning was shooting across the sky around us. The lightning lit up the sky with multiple colours. I swear the lightning stays longer on the sky here and is more powerful than at home. I wish I could have photographed it to show it, it was a sight I won’t forget. The rain continued through the night. The first rain in 6 months, so it was needed. The past weeks it had been a lot of bush fires around the area.

We were meant to dehorn some rhinos on Friday, but because the roads were in poor condition because of the rain, this job was cancelled. Me and Ele decided to go into the clinic to see if anything interesting was going on there. When we got there Erika was finishing a cesarean section on a jack russell terrier. The owner had waited 24 hours before bringing here in, but luckily they managed to save all 5 puppies which were jack russell dachshund crosses. The owner didn’t want the puppies so they were given away at 1 day old. This is normally not the time you can give them away, because they need their mother for colostrums milk etc. the new owner would have to feed them every hour for the first few days. Fingers crossed they make it.  After this we assisted Marius with a bladder stone surgery. The stones retrieved was massive 5-6 cm. Saturday we all went out for a breakfast/ lunch at Spurr to say bye to Ele, which was leaving for Cape town that evening. Going to miss here!

Sunday Blackie took me to Zebula game reserve.  This seemed like a family resort for wealthy people, but you could go there to meet the animals. I saw some baby Tigers & meerkats. I got to pet a lynx which was walked around on a lead and go into the cage to five 2 month old lion cubs. One of the lion cubs started playing with my camera strap, so I got to pet him whilst he was gnawing on it. I almost didn’t get my camera back when I was leaving. After this I went and had a private interaction with two grown cheetah. Jane and Tarzan was their names and they had been pets for a women in Pretoria until they got to large. They were very same, and when I started scratching Tarzan’s ear, he was purring like a cat. We sat on the grass side and I got to rub their bellies and cuddle them whilst they licked each other, me and played. It was an amazing experience to get that close to animals that are normally considered very dangerous. But these seemed like large cats, just wanting some cuddles.

 

Coming home we all had a braai by the pool. Ciska (Heleens daughter) and husband Louis came with their two kids and we swam in the pool, had wine and enjoyed the rest of the Sunday sunshine. Ending in a small party in the guesthouse bar. All in all a great ending to week number two.

 

 

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