Jul 11, 2010

Swopping Spots:

Almost a week ago Brian received a message about a Leopard who had broken into an outside room on the property of a time share lodge. It seems that the animal was desperate for food, forcing its way through the gauze windows in order to reach skins that were curing in salt. The owners were worried about the safety of their residents.

We are most grateful that they had decided to contact us to help them with their problem instead of taking matters into their own hands as so many others might. Brian rushed out as soon as he could with a large trap cage and a piece of bait to go and assess the situation.

When he arrived at the “scene of the crime” Brian did some investigating in order to get a better idea of the situation. He found a large spoor which could only belong to an adult leopard. This means that there was something wrong; this animal was severely hungry and possibly not able to hunt its normal prey, forcing this normally stealthy creature to look to human dwellings for its next meal.

The trap was set and all we could do now was wait for the call, letting us know when the animal was caught. We did not have to wait long....

The owners phoned us to let us know that the trap had indeed gone off and there definitely was a spotted animal in the cage... only it was not the same animal we had intended to catch. Inside was a Spotted Hyena!
It was decided that they would like to have the hyena removed from the property as well. Watching the children run around and playing, one could understand their concerns. Why tempt fate if you can take away the dangerous element? There have been at least 2 people killed by hyena in the last year. As the areas inhabited by humans expands so decreases the living space available for wild animals such as these.

Brian rounded up all the volunteers to lend a hand and off they set. Brian darted the hyena and we all waited for the drug to take effect.  Once the animal had submitted to the drowsiness we were able to sex it. This is not as easy as it may sound as male and female hyena look exactly the same. Once it was deduced that this was more than likely a young female we loaded her up into a travel box and whisked her off to her new home. Lucky enough for the hyena (and us) there was a game farm nearby which was looking to increase their hyena numbers. As they only had one, this curious creature would be happily welcomed!

We gently unloaded the hyena and left her to wake up on her own accord in the safe surroundings of the boma that the game farm owner had prepared for her. Once her homing instinct has been “broken” this hyena will be giggling happily into the night secure in the knowledge that she is welcome to roam these new lands.