Snaring of wild animals is a cruel and often wasteful activity. One poacher alone can set up to 30 or more snares in an area and only go back days later to check a handful of them. If an animal has been caught, the unfortunate trophy is removed and taken into the village to be sold locally or in nearby towns. The rest of the snares may be left unchecked and many helpless animals are trapped and left rotting.
The fate of a larger animal is somewhat more hopeful. An elephant, giraffe, lion or other carnivores are often able to break the snare away from the tree, baby elephants often with the help from the rest of the family. Luckily if these animals are seen by scouts or safari guides it is immediately reported to CSL and we quickly mobilize our wildlife veterinary unit, headed by Dr Mwamba Sichande. In this way hundreds of snared animals have been immobilized and rescued and have fully recovered.
Dr Sichande is Zambia’s first veterinarian to be employed by a conservation organization. He works for both CSL and the Zambian Carnivore Program and when he is not in the field rescuing snared animals, he heads up the only community veterinary clinic in the District. The small clinic at CSL is equipped with the necessary tools to be able to conduct spays, castration, vaccinations, disease testing and other operations. This service is provided free of charge to the community.
The CSL ZCP veterinarian is funded by Dazzle Africa and RSPCA.
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