Leopard saved from snare

September 2021
Leopardess rescued from snare, rehabilitated and released back into the wild

In July 2021 a local South African lowveld citrus farmer reported a leopard that was caught in an awful snare set alongside his farm fence. It was presumed the leopard was trying to move from a protected area onto a neighbouring farm. Poachers often set snares at points where animals dig pathways under fences, in hopes of catching bushmeat. This leopard was at the wrong place at the wrong time but luckily was still alive when vets reached her.

The leopard was cut free from the snare but due to the severity of her wounds, she was rushed straight into a veterinary practise for surgery. She had snares both around her paw and her abdomen, the latter being in an extremely critical spot. Skilled vets Joel Alves and Ben Muller from WildScapes operated to clean the wounds and stitch her up. Concern was raised over the abdomen wound which had cut in deeply, acutely damaging her kidneys and ovaries.

Post operation, the leopard was taken to Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre for recovery and round the clock supervision. Luckily she made it through the first nights and was eating meat with medication inside to help reduce inflammation. At Moholoholo, she received frequent check-ups and 2 weeks after the first surgery was immobilized by the vets to assess her condition. Her wounds looked great, and it was reported that she is eating very well. There was some concern about her kidney function as her kidneys were acutely damaged in the incident but the vets are happy with her progress and reported that her kidney function is improving.

On September 15th, more than a month after rescue, the leopardess was deemed healthy enough to be released, and was released back into the wild into the closest protected area to where we she was found. She was released into a reserve with no lions, plenty prey and also quite a few camera traps in the area so that vets can continue to monitor her over the coming weeks and months.⁠

A wonderful success story and a second chance for life. This was by far the worst snare would we have seen this year and are extremely thankful that, thanks to our generous donors, we were able to offer assistance to save her life. ⁠

Watch the video of her release here: Leopard rescued from snare, rehabilitated and released back into the Wild

Wild Wonderful World is proud to be part of a collaborative effort for this leopard's treatment with African Wildlife Vets, Down2TheWire, Blue Sky Society, Moholoholo Rehab Centre and WildScapes Vets Ben & Joel, to ensure that funds and support was available for her treatment and rehabilitation. ⁠

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