What I have learned in life and of wildlife this year
“In my heart I believe that people are good, but my experience has shown me otherwise.”
“Unless you are directly affected by some issue whether it be conservation or politics you are not going to do anything about it.”
“If you donate to most non-profit organizations that prey on your emotions to extort monies more than likely only 5% of the funds reach the persons on the ground frontlines.”
“If you want loyalty get a dog.”
“True love takes time.”
“I have always been spiritual in my soul, I know angels have been protecting me all my life I finally acknowledged my faith and life has been wonderful since then”.
“Treat everyone as an equal and you gain their respect.”
“You can learn everything about life by observing wildlife.”
“You can’t lead a happy life without passion.”
From Fred a veterinary assistant in Kenya after being charged by wounded elephant…..
Day 1 “Dr I learned something new today… age doesn’t matter.. But you are crazy.”
Day 10 “Dr I learned something new this week … “Not all white men are the same.”
It’s been a year of mixed emotions and I have always said you can’t show weakness so “ you shut up, you buck up . And you carry on”
“Have fun don’t sweat the small things…Life is short.. Make a difference”
“Age gracefully the other alternative we will all find out”.
“You can’t make a spring chicken out of an old rooster”.
“My disabled dog Tacca Roo doesn’t know she is disabled and she is pure love”.
“Give form the heart and you will receive tenfold back”.
“Vindictiveness gets you nowhere but the facts will”.
“Stand your ground your integrity is all you really have”
“When you lose it all you have you realize what is important in life”.
“Material possessions are just things”.
“Every day brings a new opportunity, if doors close others open”.
“Never give up until you are dust”.
“Speak what you believe is true in your heart it will often get you in deep trouble but you will sleep soundly at night”.
“Always tell the truth lies are always revealed”.
(I have no clue where this all came from I feel like my words just poured out of me with no forethought … divine intervention once again.)
I have been blessed to have the opportunity to work with Sheldricks elephant orphanage and get much closed to elephants that I was able to in the wild. My love and passion has only grown.
From the veterinary viewpoint I believe we have learned a lot of new things.
1. Baby elephants seem to have a common problem while they are teething that stresses them and gives them diarrhoea and in captivity this is often fatal.
a. Addition of pancreatic enzymes to predigest their milk works and has saved many babies since its diagnosis and introduction in April
b. I suggested using anaesthetic baby oral gel on gums during that time or even the administration of injectable pain Killers every few days
c. I suggest a program to dart wild lactating elephants at different stages so we can analyse the composition of the milk and enzymes. I suspect that the mother secretes digestive enzymes and natural pain killers in the milk. It’s possible they may be eating a certain foodstuff that may promote this .
d. The use of in house blood machines and digital x-rays as donated to Sheldricks ,allows you to diagnose a problem before it becomes critical and it saves lives.
2. In Kenya the poachers use a very powerful poison made from different plants. This is so toxic that one drop can kill 10 men. Let’s find and antidote….
I also learned not to poke around in spear wounds with my fingers I will use a forceps from now on.
3. We need to vaccinate and sterilize domestic dogs that are surrounding these game reserves. The dogs I saw were in very bad condition. We cannot have an outbreak of infectious diseases such as Distemper or Parvo virus that in my experience wiped out all the predators in Chobe one year. They still have not learned their lesson
4. The men on the frontlines on the field need to utilize the new technologies available. We need to raise funds to buy them Portable handheld blood machines to diagnose the survivability of sick animals in the field. They need Pulse Oximiters that monitor the heart beat and respiration of sedated animals so that we can be aware of a problem while we are working on the treatment. Wild animals often succumb to anaesthetic mishaps and need to be monitored just as in a hospital
5. Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or Drones should be used to patrol vast areas for poachers. The infra-red capability can detect these insurgents at night and then an 24/7 heclicopterized antipoaching unit can respond as they can have night vision capabilities. This is when poachers are most active. IAPF has used this in Zimbabwe and we have suggested it for years now. “Blind Ears”.