I have almost spent 2 weeks at Blouberg Animal Clinic in Louis Trichardt, South Africa. We’ve done everything from vaccinations to an impromptu doggie c-section to a stillborn giraffe calf to Tuberculin testing Buffalo. The small animal work and routine care of the game animals (antelope, giraffe, buffalo etc.) is pretty cut and dry but emergency care on game animal is tough. When you neuter a dog it’s pretty self explanatory, unless the dog has an underlying condition not yet found (we found a heart condition in a Rottweiler going under the knife last week, surprise!) but when a Sable has disgusting sounding lungs and a racing pulse what do you do? You have to act fast and concisely to save the animal as well as yourself. Running from Buffalo awaking from sedation is not fun, take my word for it!
This weekend we went to Kruger National Park. Naturally since I was wishing to see a lion we saw antelope and elephants. Our elephant sittings were spectacular. Being here for 10 weeks I have my share of amazing and terrifying elephant stories but some really neat ones took place then. We hadn’t really seen anything and were starting to worry when BAM! an elephant stepped out on the round in front of us. There huge so you’d think they’d be easily spotted but they’re really good at hide and seek. We went around the corner and started a young bull who was first scared but then wanted to get us back. He turned around, spread his ears and lowered his gaze to see past his trunk. Luckily for us it was only an empty threat. We saw elephants playing in the waterhole, digging water from the ground and playing in mud. We saw a large herd of females and calves. The babies were really interested in us and kept sticking their trunks in the air to get a sniff and inching closer. The mothers weren’t too keen on this but never threatened just got in front of the youngsters.