An Endangered Grévy's Faces a Grisly Snare

Published on the 27th of February, 2023

Grévy's zebras are among the most endangered animals in Africa, with less than 3,000 remaining in the wild. If their species is to have a future, every individual counts.

On 23rd February, Wildlife Works reported a Grévy's zebra who was in a very bad way. He had become tangled in a cable snare, which had wound tightly around his head. Knowing there wasn’t a moment to snare, we mobilised the SWT helicopter and flew Dr Limo of the SWT/KWS Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit to the scene, while Wildlife Works monitored the patient from the air.

This is the moment that Dr Limo darted the zebra from the air. As soon as the anaesthetic set in, the helicopter landed and treatment could commence. The snare was easily removed, but its impact was sobering: The wire had completely severed one ear, while the second had taken a serious hit. Fortunately, the second ear still had good blood flow and remained viable.

Despite his floppy-eared appearance, Dr Limo is optimistic that this Grévy's zebra will make a complete recovery.

Human actions have pushed Grévy's zebras to the brink of extinction. This treatment was a sobering reminder of the many challenges they face. And yet, because of teamwork and speedy intervention, this chap will live to see another day. While he and his species continue to forge a future for themselves, we will be there to support them, every step of the way.

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