On 17 July 2009 we received a call from a Ranger from a nearby Game Farm who was on his way out for the evening. He was traveling towards Kampersrus, a little village down the road from us when something dark caught his eye. After a closer inspection he discovered that it was in fact a Brown Hyena. A Brown Hyena is a very rare sighting down our way, but to see one roaming around freely on a public road was even rarer still!
The Ranger soon noticed that there was something wrong with the Hyena. He tried to see what the matter could be but it crawled into a concrete drain pipe under the road, he saw his chance and blocked the entrance with netting which he fortunately had with him. He phoned Brian at the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre who was awaiting the arrival of guests. He immediately gathered the necessary items and guides he needed to help and drove by vehicle in the direction he was given.
(The image on the right shows The snare around the Brown Hyena’s neck.)
On arrival they found the Brown Hyena huddled at the far end of the pipe; it was clear there was something severely wrong. He was darted and brought to the rehab for further inspection. Once we had him settled in the clinic it was, to our shock, we discovered that the Hyena had an animal’s worst enemy . . . . . . . ‘a snare,’ around his neck which had cut deeply into the flesh. By the state of the wound it looked as if this animal had been walking around with this ‘necklace of death’ for at least 2 months. The skin in some places had already started growing over the snare and the wound was teaming with maggots.
Our vet nurse was away at the time and Drew, one of the vet students volunteering with us at the time, volunteered to assist Brian to lend a hand and conscientiously cleaned the wound. Eventually the awful part came with us having to, with much effort, remove the snare from deep within the Hyena’s neck, but a good job was done and soon he was bandaged up and left to recover in the quarantine.
Just two weeks down the road we felt it was time for the Brown Hyena’s first check-up. A vet was called in to give his verdict. The vet darted him and gave him a thorough inspection. We were all amazed at how wonderfully his appalling wounds had healed in such a short period. The vet gave our Hyena the thumbs up and declared that he would soon be ready for release.
Once he is settled, this regal creature with his chocolate coloured fur, shaggy mane and banded legs will, once again, be able to roam at his leisure. We will be able to watch over him and monitor his movements with the help of the collar which will transmit his co-ordinates to us. We hope that from this experience we will be able to learn a little more about this elusive animal’s habits that is such a rare sight to behold. Go Well friend!