Oct 21, 2011

Just 24 hours?

Life in a Rehab Centre is never normal. Anything can happen any day as we are always on call for any animal that may need our assistance. A particular Monday in June turned out to be one of the busiest and could have not asked for a more interesting day. From routine procedures to life and death situations, our day felt like a roller coaster.

It all started early in the morning when Dr. Hein Muller came with his team to test our wild lioness for TB. She was first brought into the Rehab a year ago with a severe snared wound around her neck.

See our past article on the blog) This wound has healed beautifully since then and have found a suitable home for her that is if we can get the permits through which is another procedure one must work on. The TB is the final requirement so she can be reintroduced in a private game reserve.

Some of the students had the opportunity to assist Dr. Muller; one applied the eye ointment, while he explained what the test consisted of, and how the result would be measured. She was injected with both bovine and avian TB in her neck. In a couple of days we’ll re-measure her skin thickness, if it’s the same, it means she’s TB free and can be reintroduced to her new home!

Once we were done with the lioness the students went to assist Brian in the quarantine quarters, where our snared leopard and brown hyena are being kept. Both animals needed to be darted so we could examine up close how their wounds were healing. To our great relief, the leopard’s injuries are healing quite well. The stomach wound –where he was snared- looks incredible and his puncture wounds have almost completely healed. The tooth removal seemed to be a success and he is recovering quite well from this procedure as well. The claws however will take longer to heal, seeing he wore them down trying to get out of the snare.

Feeling happy and optimistic about our leopard, we then moved onto the brown hyena. He was darted by Brian – who has many years of experience. Something however didn’t go as planned and to our horror, our brown hyena, a very rare animal, died in front of our eyes. We couldn’t let this just happen and Jessie – one of our volunteer staff members- immediately began giving him CPR. She had done this previously with large dogs and it was definitely worth a shot! Alternating compressions with Brian doing the mouth-to-nose breathing our brown hyena started responding. After a couple of minutes he started breathing on his own! The CPR had worked and even though we still had to keep a close eye on him for the next couple of hours, we were just thrilled and relieved our friend came back to life after his heart had stopped! Once he had recovered and all looked well it was time to release him. After checking he was stable for a couple of hours, we took him then to a private game reserve where we released him. Our story had the most magnificent of endings and so did our day.

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