A spotted hyena with a snare around its neck was reported to the Sabi Sand Wildtuin, in the Greater Kruger National Park. Request for funding to remove the snare instead of shooting the hyena was requested – to which Wild Wonderful World donated the required funds via our Rapid Response Fund, to cover the operation.
The vet headed out to the reserve and attempted to call the hyena using recordings of distressed prey – this usually attracts hyenas into the area. Unfortunately, they had no success. A second attempt was made, this time hanging an impala carcass in a tree and playing the hyena call up sounds, which successfully attracted hyenas to the area. Within 30 minutes they had 3 hyenas at the carcass and soon after the 4th hyena walked in with a stick in it’s mouth – this was the hyena with the snare.
The snare around the hyena’s neck was still attached to a large, heavy branch, which the hyena had taken to carrying in it’s mouth to prevent the cable pulling tighter around its neck (heart-breaking, but incredible). As the hyena moved toward the impala carcass, it saw the other hyenas and moved off a little bit into thicker bush. The vet followed the snared hyena off-road with the vehicle and darted the hyena. The snare was successfully removed, the wound cleaned and treated with honey (a natural anti-biotic) and an additional anti-biotic injected due to the severity of the wound.
Just before the hyena was given the sedation reversal drugs, two male lions walked up to the bait (!), which was good timing because if they had arrived before the hyenas, the hyenas would have stayed away! Because of the presence of the male lions, the snared hyena was taken some way off (2-3km from the bait site) before it was woken up, in a nice big clearing where the vet could keep an eye on it to check it was moving ok, post operation. The hyena moved off well and the vet was very pleased with how the operation went. A successful operation all round – giving this hyena another chance of life.