Friday, April 20, 2012
Going 'on safari' as a tourist is very special for me. It reminds me how amazing it is to be able to work in the bush, especially as a Kaaskop (local word for Dutch person). Before I moved to South Africa to work as a wildlife vet in 2008, a safari was the only way to see wild animals and it always touched me deeply. I remember seeing the first wild animal again, after working as an all-round vet in the Netherlands and the UK for 3 years. We were in Etosha, Namibia. It was 2004. A lone zebra stallion was wandering around. Nobody was feeding it, nobody was looking after it: completely independent and wild. Pure nature. I started crying from happiness! My boyfriend at the time, said that he was jalous that seeing one zebra could make me SO happy. It was special that it felt that strong. At that moment I decided to dedicate my life to wildlife. There was no choice and never regret it.
Porcupines are small but agressive and SHARP. Their sharp needles penetrate deeply into tissue and don't come out by themselves. Once these needles break off, it can be difficult to find the little piece left. Therefore we quite frequently treat wild animals to remove porpupine needles as quick as possible to avoid infections or worse. Luckily this sable antilope was found soon after the attack. I was able to dart it, remove the needles and treat the wound with disinfectants and systemic antibiotics. No penetration in a join was found, so the prognosis is superb. This makes a happy vet!