A zebra was saved from being strangled to death thanks to a quick-thinking rescue team.
KaiNav Conservation Foundation’s Snare team were carrying out a routine check for poaching snares in Tswaing Meteorite Crater Nature Reserve in South Africa when they spotted the struggling zebra.
Sadly, snares are widely used throughout Africa and Asia by poachers as they are easy to make, but they are not selective and animals are often unintentionally captured.
On seeing the zebra, the snare team called in vetinary help, as they needed to tranquilise the injured zebra in order to treat it effectively.
In order to shoot the zebra with the tranquiliser dart the team had to get as close as possible in their pick up truck. At first, the zebras were suspicious of the vehicle, but it wasn’t long before their injured member was successfully darted.
As the drugs began to take effect he quickly became drowsy and laid down.
This was the teams cue to act, starting by keeping him upright to protect his airways before covering his eyes with a cloth to calm him and pouring water over him to keep him cool.
In order to minimise the amount of time that the zebra was sedated for, it was essential for the team to move quickly.
After the snare was removed, the zebra was given antibiotics and an antidote to the sedative to aid his recovery.
Within just 4 minutes for the surgery ending the zebra galloped off to join the rest of his herd. The entire operation took less than 35 minutes from start to finish.
Now, the snare that was removed from the zebra will form part of the KaiNav Consevation Foundation’s SNARE Art programme, a community project which uses poaching equipment to create stunning artwork.
Since the rescue the zebra has been spotted and is recovering well.