The STS team in South Africa were asked to attend to a subadult Giraffe that had been seen carrying its hindlimb for the last 3 weeks.
Unfortunately due to thick bush and long grass the animal is seen irregularly and the reserve could not ascertain what exactly was wrong.
After a 4 hour search the Giraffe was located with its mother and Dr. Johan was able to dart the animal. With the mother nearby and looking on, our team made a shocking discovery. A poachers snare had amputated the entire distal part of the hindlimb!
The female Giraffe was still in good condition and is able to keep up with the mother. There is also no predators on the property, so the decision was made to treat the wound and release the Giraffe again.
She will be monitored over the next 4 weeks and if she needs intervention of whatever form, it will be instituted.
Without our teams being on hand, animals like this young Giraffe would be lost, further endangering many species.
Giraffe are in rapid decline across the African continent, in what has been termed the ‘silent extinction’. According to a 2015 report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), wild Giraffe numbers have dropped from an estimated 155,000 in 1985 to 97,000 in 2015 representing a population decline of more than 30% in just fifteen years. The IUCN global Red List of threatened species recently updated the giraffe’s status from “Least Concern” to “Vulnerable”.