Monday, April 30, 2012

Back home safe after first trip to Kenya April 2012

I am back safe from a one month in Kenya working with Sheldricks elephant orphanage and various veterinary units with the Kenya Wildlife service (KWS). One year ago this day I ...was sitting in a Botswana prison having no clue why I was there and trying to stay alive in a very hostile environment awaiting deportation. Yes I have disappeared for a year and rumours are rampant as to what has happened to me. As you know I was never charged or accused of any wrong doing and I was denied my day in court as they would have had nothing to pin on me. I will in the next few weeks’ post the facts of what happened to me and I will let you all make up your own minds.
Instead of being a “broken man” as was the perception after having lost all my substantial investments and property in Botswana and my passion as a volunteer Veterinarian and Honourary Game Warden for Chobe National Park for 5 years, I have had a very productive year and have moved forward continuing my legacy of saving wildlife.
I have remained silent mainly because I want to continue working in Africa and was scared that this Botswana nonsense would prevent me from doing so. In fact I have not had to be negative about the leadership of Botswana as they are doing a fine job of incriminating themselves violating human rights and making huge blunders on their own. They will bury themselves as hopefully all people are not ignorant and in the end all truths are revealed.
It took me 2 months to recuperate from the trauma of being deported. Unfortunately Laura and I broke up as the stress of the incident was just too much on our relationship. She has moved on and married a very nice man and I am happy for her. I have met a very wonderful woman with children I adore and am very happy on the home front.
In March I travelled to Kenya were I toured the country meeting some wonderful people including Helen Douglas-Dufresne of Milgis Trust. . My travels took me to Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa in search of a place to relocate where my veterinary and management knowledge would be most beneficial.
I have been a consultant to Sheldricks elephant orphanage for 8 months now I have almost weekly been helping them with cases they have difficulty with. I diagnosed and treated a pancreatic enzyme deficiency in a baby elephant and saved its life and many others since then, as this seems to be a common problem. I have recently returned from there after updating their veterinary knowledge and technology as on my recommendation, we were able to get donations to supply them with sate of the art diagnostic blood machines and a digital x-ray machine. These additions have and will continue to save many more baby elephants as daily monitoring is now possible. I estimate we have increased their survivability rate by 70%.
I also have worked with the various KWS veterinary, in the field groups, and we have shared a wealth of knowledge and experience and many good times were had.
While in USA this year I volunteered my time to the SPCA doing much sterilization. I have continued my relationship with the local wildlife rescue organization Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation rescue
I have advised and donated medications to Patrick Webb of NWHS and sit on their advisory board . Condolences on loss of his tiger Apache.
I have volunteered my time to help with Chis Aaron of Florida Brittany Rescue

I will shortly be going to Venezuela to assist a zoo with health and management plan for a dilapidated facility.
I will over the next few weeks share my adventures with you by posting pictures and stories.
I’m currently taking my Fishing Guides Licence so I can make some income taking out paying clients to catch and release only fishing in the Tampa Bay area. This will allow me freedom to not be tied down to a business so I can be available to be a travelling consulting wildlife veterinarian throughout the world in conjunction with my Non-profit organization International Wildlife Rescue
After that I will post the facts of what occurred in Botswana. Then you can judge for yourself.
I’m not being paranoid as will be revealed but a note to Botswana DIS whom is monitoring my mails and movements. In the event that I am to expire suddenly I have left instructions with various lawyers to disclose incriminating evidence. I’m tired of looking over my shoulder so back off!

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2012 seeking new home First trip Kenya

In April and May 2012 after recuperating from my big hit in Botswana. I travelled to Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa in search for a new place that would benefit from my experience as a wildlife veterinarian.In Kenya I met with Helen Dufrese of Milgis trust. We flew to Northern Kenya where they operate running their own antipoaching crew and build waterholes and schools for the people of that area. Mainly the Samburu warrior tribe. It is a very scarcely populated land still living with traditional ways. I take my hat off to these hard working and dedicated people for the important conservation work they do.I had just quit smoking and had in my possession an electronic cigarette which lit up at the end and blew steam out of my mouth as if smoking a real cigarette. On arrival I approached 5 stoic and hardened Samburu warriors in their traditional clothing. I took off my sunglasses and looked each one in turn in the eye. Without saying a word I took out my electronic cigarette and started to take large puffs. I then proceeded to touch the end of the lighted tip to one of their arms. Of course there was no reaction and no flinching. They could not understand how there was smoke but no burn. Slowly a smile emerged from his face which soon turned into hilarious laughter from all concerned. Well we had to climb very steep inclines to get to the camp. This old man was huffing and puffing in an effort to keep up yet I would not show them weakness so I, shut up, bucked up and carried on. These Samburu warriors undergo a circumcision ritual at 15 years old and if they flinch when the knife cuts they are not allowed to be warriors. I immediately fell in love with these colourful people. In battle which is often against raiders from the north attempting to steal their cattle if one is killed they are lefty were they lie, their memory to be praised for years thereafter.On returning to Nairobi and deathly sick with the flu I introduced myself to the Sheldricks elephant orphanage. They were very skeptical at first but when I went thru their veterinary supplies and suggested various improvements in new drugs and procedures they allowed me to do my thing and invited me back for a few days.One very sick and rapidly fading elephant baby by the name of Khitaka got most of my attention. By following basic rules of diagnosis and an open mind I put this baby thru a series of tests. We were allowed to take blood samples to a human laboratory and were pushed in front of all other patients. By doing basic Complete Blood counts I taught them how to differentiate when an infection was starting and wetheir was bacterial or viral and we could therefore pre-empt infections before they had time to completely take over. This was adopted as a routine procedure. Khitaka was in very bad condition and was suffering from persistent watery diarrhoea which was dehydrating him.On running blood chemistries I discovered that there were no pancreatic enzymes in the blood. On doing a faecal digestion test on fresh faeces I was able to determine that no digestive enzymes were being produced and thus he was not absorbing any nutrients. Also the serum was miky in colour indicating a large presence of fat or cholesterol I happened to walk in to a health food store in Nairobi and there in front of me were 4 bottles of pancreatic enzymes. It turns out they were the only 4 bottles in the entire country. On promptly returning to camp I instructed them to mix 10 pills in the milk 30 minutes before feeding to allow the enzymes to predigest the milk.Khitaka was in the field at the time and drank half of his bottle. 10 minutes later he finished the whole bottle which he had never done and with his new found burst of energy was the first baby back to camp to slurp down his next bottle and promptly fell asleep. Immediate effects were amazing to see and today Khitaka has completely recovered and is actually the leader of the herd of baby elephants he hangs out with and is really quite a cheeky little character. Enzymes have been included in all new babies to the shelter and the keepers shared with me that they have had a substantial increase in survivability of these baby orphans. I does my heart good.I was flown down to their orphanage reintroduction to the wild facility in the Tsavo national Park along with young veterinarians from the KWS to treat an elephant by the name of Ndara which was suffering from a severe infection to his front leg from a spear wound. I was able to interact with these vets and exchange information which I had gained from experiences in Chobe. Ndara has made a complete recovery and often comes back to the compound to visit his handlers even though he has become a totally wild reintroduced elephant. I need not reiterate the great work that Sheldricks does as it is well known and I am proud to be a part of it. I have consulted with them for the past 8 months and have updated their equipment and technology with blood machines and digital x-ray which I will detail in further posts.I continued my trip to visit Malawi and meet with various wildlife representatives. I had close encounters with one of the few white lions left and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and peoples of that country. Unfortunately the economy and overpopulation has virtually decimated their wildlifeOn to South Africa and Mozambique were I was reunited with an old friend of mine Rodney Genriks. We were part of the original game rangers at Sabi Sabi game preserve adjoining the Kruger national park. Over 35 years had passed and we visited our old stomping grounds together were a remaining tracker by the name of Frank was still employed there. Frank had been immortalized in a painting prominently displayed in the entrance to the resort. Now an old man (as we are) Frank came out and looked at us with much curiosity. Suddenly he recognized us and shouted Genriks and Wilson! With much back slapping and hugs to follow.We met up with an old friend and famous author Tony Park in his new home in Kruger Park. Many a cigars and beers were consumed at the nightly fire and braai were many stories of the old days were retold and rehashed.I must share with you the one incident which I had no idea to this day that was instigated by my good friend Rod.In the early 80”s after I graduated from University of Florida I had applied to veterinary school in South Africa and was rejected on my first attempt. I headed back to RSA and found myself in the employ of the newly opened Sabi Sabi river camp along with Rod and a rather motley crew. The only reason I was hired was because I spoke fluent Spanish and at that time Argentinians tourists were flooding into the country.Of course being the newest ranger I was given the worst land rover and the less experienced tracker that did not speak a word of English. On my first day there I was entrusted to take a land rover full of German tourists in to the bush on a game drive. Having no clue where I was or what I was doing and sporting my Stetson hat and cowboy boots off we went. I came across a large pride of lions which I had never encountered before and switched off the vehicle to observe them. On calling the other rangers on the radio I was asked as to my position so they could all come and view the pride. Of course I had no clue where I was and how to communicate with my tracker. In the interim the lions decided to start strolling right towards my open land rover full of tourists gesticulating in delight at the site. Well I almost soiled my pants as I only had 5 bullets in my rifle and there were well over 10 lions headed my way. I had to act brave and as if I knew what I was doing and almost wet myself as the entire pride walked right by my open door and past us into the bush. Shortly thereafter the other vehicles had arrived to view the spectacle. On arriving back to camp I had to have a few stiff shots of tequila to steady me nerves. Well I did manage to survive and worked there for a further 9 months before reapplying to veterinary school and being accepted.It was in one of our nightly discussions that the truth came out that Rod had known the lions were there and had instructed my tracker to lead me there to see how I would react. Rod … like an elephant my memory is very good and payback in the future will be sweet



Helen Dufrense Milgis trust

Flying down to Mara to treat wounded elephant


                                                 KHITAKHA  Miracale Child


                                                                  Rod an I at Sabi KNP
                                                               Rod Frank and Myself
                                                          Pianting of Frank in his youth
Tony Park famous Author