Impromptu giraffe capture

By Pip Myram

Since the releases of twelve giraffe, into the 1,200ha breeding camp, sightings have been most enjoyable as they generally mingle around the main gate airstrip on the sweeter vegetation growing in the area.

One particular female recently gave birth to a young bull calf. While were admiring the young calf, we noticed that he had an injury or growth under his right front leg. The wound was cause for concern as the animal was very young and the wound was large in relation to his small size. For this reason, veterinary attention was warranted to investigate and treat.

A swift darting procedure ensued, after which the calf placed himself almost perfectly in the shade of a tree, neck upright against the trunk of the tree.  Once the veterinarian and attending management staff had the animal stabilised – eyes covered, ears muffled with cotton and the legs secured with a rope in case he decided to take to his feet, they were able to manoeuver the animal into a position in order to investigate the injury.

It turned out that the wound was caught early enough and was not as serious as originally thought; the puncture wound had a piece of stick lodged inside, resulting in a minor infection. The wound was scrubbed clean to remove the debris, and the giraffe given a shot of antibiotics to support his recovery. Just minutes after he was sedated, he was given the reversal agent and he was up again and back with his mother who was watching the action from over the treetops – a very happy ending for the young giraffe.

A highlight of game viewing on the reserve recently was a very relaxed female spotted hyaena with at least one cub at her den right on the shoulder of Brown Hyaena Kill Road. This was a very special sighting frequented by guides throughout the reserve and offered guests a rare, up-close encounter with this rarely observed evocative animal of the bush.

Photos: Panayota Galanakis & Sam Davidson-Phillips