Wildlife volunteers at Shamwari Wildlife Project, have been fully dedicated to buffalo capture over the last couple of weeks. The African winter is game capture season and Shamwari wildlife volunteers help with everything from setting up capture systems to the loading and offloading of animals captured.
To keep the wildlife reserve running, the Shamwari Reserve relies on both voluntourism and the sale of game. And, as winter is on the door step, that means the start of game sales!
Buffalos have to be captured long in advance because they have to be tested for diseases before one can sell them. Diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), bovine tuberculosis (BTB), corridor disease (CD) and bovine brucellosis can easily spread to other livestock .
The Eastern Cape is a disease free area and we’d like to keep it that way.
Volunteers had very early mornings, leaving in the dark to get to the far north of Shamwari by the time the sun rises. They had to find the buffalo herd, and radio the game capture team to give them the herd location. The buffaloes were darted two at a timeand as the first one went down, they would drop off a team to keep it upright as the second team tended to the second buffalo.
Volunteers helped from the loading to the offloading. All the darting was done from their vehicle and the vet and ecologist, explained the procedures as it happened. They captured 20 buffaloes in total.
Then came phase two. The state vet arrived on Monday to test all the buffaloes in the holding bomas for the diseases mentioned above. Volunteers helped with the ear tagging and numbering, drawing of blood, injections and micro-chipping for keeping track of which buffalo is which.
All and all a great experience for those who are looking for a real wildlife conservation experience!. Well done team!!