Monday, January 16, 2012

Leopard with no tail

In October also we received a female leopard with no tail. Head researcher Florian and volunteer Martin drove over 800km round trip on one day to collect the leopard. She was captured on a farm near Otavi, where farmers had lost a calf and it as bait in the trap to capture the problem leopard. This farmer is generally predator friendly and does not randomly remove animals, they are aware of at least 4-5 leopards continually on their farm and never experienced any problems with them prior to this calf predation incident. 

She is a young female, of approximately two years of age, and she went into the cage that same night. Unfortunately and because of her fierce character, when she came to us she already had a number of injuries, including a cut-off tail, severe abrasions on her face and general dehydration.

After consulting with our vet Ian Baines, Rudie proceeded to darting and sedating her, we performed a complete health check on the animal and began to treat her wounds. She only weighed 20 kg when she arrived, a sign of severe dehydration, so she was put on a drip.

Flo and Rudie then treated the injuries on her face, as well as the tail injury. We suspect that the door of the capture cage must have cut off her tail when she first went into the cage. 

Once the injuries were treated, her general health condition was good enough to release her and give her the best chances of survival in the wild. The animal was already quite stressed, so we proceeded to release her that same day back into the wild.

As it is a leopard, we only gave her the antidote when she was out in the wild and we drove off before she could wake up for safety reasons. 

Several weeks later, we still find her tracks, a sign for her being well and alive.

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