Zebra foal snare removal

November 2020
Wire snare cut from Zebra's neck

A young Zebra with a snare around its neck was reported on a reserve in the Pietermaritzburg area. Funding to remove the snare instead of shooting the zebra was requested – to which Wild Wonderful World donated the required funds via our Rapid Response Fund, to cover the cost of the operation.


The Zebra was seen for the first-time early morning during a game drive and reported immediately to the vet. The vet headed out to the reserve that same afternoon, where a guide was keeping visual of the zebra and its herd. The zebra seemed to be free of whatever it was attached to, but the wire caught around its neck was cutting in quite deeply. The vet darted the zebra with a dart gun from the vehicle. The dart drug used was Edorphine (M99), a potent opioid drug, which causes central nervous system depression. It takes about 4 minutes to work. Interestingly, a zebra requires more of the sedativethan a white rhino! 5ml vs 4ml required for a female rhino 😊.

Once sedated, the vet covered the zebra’s eyes with a cloth -just in case it woke up - so that it didn’t panic seeing humans close by. The wound was severe (apologies for the graphic media). The wire was removed (cut off with wirecutters), the wound cleaned and anti-biotics injected to assist with the infection. The wound was sprayed with anti-septic and a reversal dug was given and shortly afterwards the foal awoke. The rest of the herd stayed nearby and the young zebra ran straight to them. A successful operation all round – giving this zebra another chance of life.

Update from the field

This zebra foal has continued to be monitored by the reserve and is reported to doing really well – it is seen often by guides in the area. The wound is slowly starting to close and heal.

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