A badly snared hyena was spotted on a game reserve near Phalaborwa, the Kruger National Park. Never the intended victim, hyena are one of the most snared animals because they often cross reserve fences via holes dug by other game.
This snare had tightened inside the hyena’s mouth and around its neck. That evening, we went out to find it and remove the snare.
Rescuing a snared hyena involves a lot of preparation and waiting for the snared animal to show up to the bait put up by reserve management... But luck was on our side! As we were about to give up - 3 hours in - the snared animal turned up & it was all-go after the vet darted it with a tranquilliser.
After a tense spotlight search, dodging some buffalo, the hyena was on a stretcher & the horrific snare removed. Antibiotics & vaccines administered, the lucky animal woke up with an impala carcass ready for him to eat. The vets are confident that this hyena will make a full recovery!
This is a short summary of what was a 6+ hour intervention… The search for snared hyena like this one is, more often than not, unsuccessful. These animals can have incredibly vast home ranges, which makes them very difficult to relocate. But regardless, the veterinary team and reserve management still have to go out, often driving long distances, getting a bait carcass and waiting - often fruitlessly - for the snared animal to turn up. And no matter whether the search is successful, costs are still incurred and countless hours of overtime put in.
Interventions like this tend to draw a lot of attention from bystanders, not always the most practical of situations to work in… kudos to the Wildscapes veterinary team for their professionalism & efficiency in getting the job done, as well as the volunteers & reserve management!
Every wild animal matters & our de-snaring group of likeminded NGOs makes a difference every time we save one. For every post of successfully de-snared animals, several fruitless attempts are not captured - yet funding is needed for all of them! Your donations mean that we can keep people on the ground looking out for these animals & saving the lives of our wildlife.
This festive season, why not look at giving them the tools they need to keep up the good work?
This operation was a collaboration between:
Wildscapes Veterinary Services | Wild Wonderful World | African Wildlife Vets | Blue Sky Society | Down 2 the Wire | PNHF