No time to recover from the holidays when you work in the bush! January was full of excitement and wildlife rescue.
Craig’s Wardens meeting had to be interrupted by a phone call from one of the lodge managers. He reported a young elephant bull that seemed to be wounded as he was unable to stand on his right front leg. Whilst we met up with the lodge guides that spotted the elephant we decided we needed to take action quick. The vet came in to dart him so that we could start the treatment. Once darted the elephant awkwardly fell down a slope of a dry riverbed, which made the treatment more difficult. Luckily we were able to treat him quickly. We noticed that this young bull was the same bull that was hit by the mining train in December. His right front and back legs were very swollen and purification had set into his knee joints. He also unfortunately broke his left tusk, but luckily he was in good body condition otherwise! The wounds got treated and he was given a good painkiller, long term antibiotics and insecticide. We suspected that we had to retreat him again in a couple of weeks. We kept our eye on him to see how he responded to the treatment. He is doing better but we noticed that we needed to retreat him one more time. Therefor he was darted a second time and the wound was treated once more to ensure 100% healing. We hope he will recover quickly and enjoy a pain free life again as a young and happy young elephant!
With the hectic treatment of the elephant we also had a report of a cheetah on our reserve with a very tight collar that wasn’t functional anymore. Cheetahs often move vast distances and don’t stay on the reserve. Therefor we don’t know where they come from or for how much longer they are staying in our area. That means we had to act fast. The day after the cheetah was first sighted, he was relocated again. We called in the vet right away. Once darted, the collar was removed. We also noticed a broken toe and a necrotic wound on his back. All wound were treated and an anti-biotic was given for maximum recovery. In the next couple of days the lodges have seen the cheetah and has send photos. He is doing very well and looking very healthy! And for now he is enjoying his time close to the waterhole in our reserve. We are always grateful to have such beautiful animals passing through our reserve, as cheetah numbers are declining fast and listed as currently vulnerable. Therefor taking care of every single individual matters for the survival of a species.
Not only do we have our hands full with work in the bush, Lewyn has also her hands full with a lot of new bushbabies! The new school year has started and she added another 10 schools to the BushBaby Environmental Education Project! This way we are able to reach more children and teach them about the wonders of the natural world and the importance to protect it.
We are also very proud to announce another baby black rhino to our rhino family! We do not know the sex yet as it is sometimes difficult to see when they are still very young. But both mother and calf are doing very well! Every calf born is a victory and we hope in the future that we see the black rhino population grow as there are estimated only about 2000 black rhinos left in the wild. For now we wish the new mother all the best and the calf an exciting time discovering his or her new world!