STS Mozambique free Crash the Hippopotamus from a massive cable snare
STS Mozambique responded to a call for assistance from the head rangers in Maputo Special Reserve to immobilise and free an adult Hippopotamus named Crash from a cable snare.
Hippo chemical immobilisation is still “art” in the making. This is due to the complex amphibious life of this mammal and its inherent risks of drowning when anaesthetised.
Recent developments in drug combinations managed to achieve some degree of immobilisation whilst not suppressing the breathing reflex. However, this also means that Hippos are not really under deep anaesthesia which represents a serious danger to the teams handling them in the muddy dark waters where they usually live.
How STS helped save the Hippopotamus
Dr. Joao and Dr. Hagnesio assisted the reserve staff. They darted Crash the Hippopotamus and following a few minutes of tension managed to close the animals mouth using a rope. They then pulled its head to shore. The double cable has been cut but surprisingly there is no damage to the animals skin. However, the cable was attached to a heavy log purposely to slowly exhaust the animal until it gets stuck somewhere, meaning that Crash’s movements have been severely restricted for at least 2 weeks causing a severe decrease in its body condition.
After freeing the animal the antidote was injected in the tongue as this is the only muscle available (note that the hippos skin can be 6 cm thick). We were happy to see Crash swim away from the team, freed from the snare.
We believe it is very important that supporters see exactly where their money is being used and we hope that from our reports you can see the great work that our teams are doing 100% funded by your donations.
STS would like to thank all our partners in this mission, Cragghoppers, Administração Nacional das Áreas de Conservação, Maputo Special Reserve, Peace Parks Foundation and Ford South Africa.
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Thank you from all of team Saving The Survivors for your support!
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