A few notable surgeries
NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH
Sometimes i have to take a break from the wildlife work to assist injured domesticated animals. 2 interesting surgeries.
The first was a 5 year old rotweiler with a severe infection in her uterus refered to as a pyometra, If dogs are not spayed by 5 to 6 years old chances of this happening are high especially if they have had puppies, Infection gets into the uterus and it becomes a bag full of puss. Its fatal if not treated in time.
This next broken femur was from a Russian wolf hound. they had been playing when owner fell on puppy and broke its leg, The problem is that is was a circular fracture of the bone kind of like when a chicken bone splinters, The splinter went all the what to the bottom of the bone making the surgery extremely difficult. Atfter much manipulation I managed to put it together. 4 1/2 hours of surgery
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Translocation of Lions from Farming community
Report parks re : Lion relocation from Pandamatenga on 14/5/2011
Dr Clay Wilson Veterinarian and Honourary Warden Chobe national Park
On Tuesday 14 of April I received a text message from Head Warden whom was in Gaborone, that there was an incident at Panda with some lions and was asked to deal with it.
I attempted to contact head or research but he was out of cell phone range at another location. Chili also called me and notified me to deal with situation at Panda. I could not contact wardens on duty but finally managed to collect Lawita and we responded.
The office at panda was informed we were on hour away and wardens on call in Kasane were found and told to head toward the scene.
On arrival we were flagged down by a police van on the main road. A vehicle was parked by the side of the road and to my surprise a very irritated lion ran out of the bush and attacked the vehicle. I chased lion away and informed an elderly lady that was obviously observing to please move along. She came back on 2 occasions and was aggravated with me when I was stern with her and told her she was interfering with our work.
A German man from the local lodge was there and he told me that there were 5 lions. One large male and an other lion had run thru the fence and had apparently injured itself very badly in the process. It was evident from the fence that had been bent over at an extreme angle that this had happened. 3 Lions remained one large very aggressive adult female, and a sub adult male and female. The German man wanted me to relocate them across the fence on the Zimbabwe border. There has been tremendous conflict with lions at panda being killed by farmers that I did not agree. I
After much time and effort I managed to dart all 3 lions. They were very hard to find in the thick grass and were very aggressive. By chance the 2 wildlife vehicles one from Panda with a bedfull of passengers and one from Kasane arrived just in time. I instructed them to collect the cages at the wildlife office and return immediately.
Lions sedated had to be given extra injections to keep them sedated. 4 Darts were used along with 3 bottles of Zoletil and one bottle of Ketamine. A full tank of fuel was used.
We could not contact Head Wardens so after much discussion Latiwa and I decided it was best to relocate lions to Chobe Park. Blood samples were taken from all animals and a quick clinical examination was made. They appeared to be perfectly healthy to me but a little thin as they had not eaten. No symptoms of disease were evident. They had been trapped between the 2 fences of the main road and apparently had been causing problems with the local population. Of this I am not sure.
We loaded 2 young lions into one truck and lioness into other. BDF had come to assist but everyone was scared and I had to be stern to get help to load them up.
On the way to Kasane I finally contacted head of research and he agreed that we should relocate them to Ihaha since there were no lion prides in that area that we know of.
We met him at Sedudu gate and proceeded to Ihaha. One of the vehicles ran out of fuel at this extended our time in the field.
At approximately 10 pm we arrived by riverfront at Ihaha. All lions were released from vehicles and we returned home after 11 pm.
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this incident by local people that criticized we should not have moved them into the park because of risk of disease transfer. I totally disagree as lions could cover that distance in 3 to 4 days if they wanted to. I have blood samples if necessary. I also felt that leaving them at Panda they would just be shot and killed as has been the case on many occasions.
As a professional I believe in conjunction with parks official on site and Mr. Gadimang that we made the correct decision but am willing to take responsibility for my actions.
We had a situation and we dealt with it to the best of our ability and made decisions on the spot as we had poor communications.
I was very pleased with the cooperation of the Panda Police department. BDF and Kasane and Panda Parks department for an exercise in which we all cooperated and had positive results.
The lion population in Chobe at the moment is unstable as new prides have moved in and are establishing their territories and dominance. I have seen various lionesses. One has 3 cubs (she has one eye and easily identifiable and I had treated her for mastitis 3 months ago) and I believe there are 2 or 3 mature males. I spotted a new lioness with 5 cubs the other day so I am happy they are coming back in.
As you well know it is my strong belief that most of the lions were killed by a distemper outbreak last year that affected domestic dogs in Kasane. I have not been able to prove it as sick animals go in to the bush to die and as we have no use of aircraft of helicopter. it’s very hard to patrol park where there are no roads. Once I get funding we will collar a few of the dominant lionesses and blood test them for all diseases. I am sure that we will find they have been exposed to canine distemper virus and it’s my hope with this proof that the government will assist with mandatory Distemper vaccinations in domesticated dogs in areas such as Kasane were we live In close contact with wildlife. As for the movement we do not know were lions are coming from, we will never know until we collar and satellite track them on a daily basis.
All other theories that have been put forward as to why lions disappeared last year during the height of winter, are just that, and cannot be proven without hard facts and scientific data. I have been attempting to make an appointment with HE for the past 3 months with no response from his secretaries so I can discuss with him the needs of the wildlife department and human wildlife conflict from my point of view as I have been volunteering my services for the past 3 years and believe I have some insight and a different outlook. We need a helicopter and 24/7 anti poaching unit along with UAV.
As a follow up all 2 lions were spotted on July 13 about 5 kilometers away from release point. They were fit and fat and had adapted to their new home. No other prides of lions have moved into that area