Although I am wounded, I will lead my pack by turning my wounds into wisdom.
Every wound has a scar, and every scar tells a story. And this is mine..
We are all aware that there is not a lot left of my species, the African wild dog, as we are extremely endangered, with approximately only 450 left in the Kruger National Park. If you did not take note, let me repeat, that is ONLY 450 of us left in the whole Park. This means that your grandchildren might someday not have the privilege to see us in the wild, but only read about us in historic books.
On 19 July 2017 I was strolling down the road on my way to Mtshawu dam, running to the East. While enjoying my morning walk, a couple of guests from Nkambeni Safari Camp came across to take my photo (which is no surprise to me, as I know they do not always see a lot of us anymore in the Park), and I gladly allowed them to get a few nice pictures. I was not on my best behavior, as I had a fresh snare wound, from a snare a while ago.
However, I think the guide from Echo Africa Safaris (Arthur) realized that I was in pain. From what I have heard, thought it well to immediately bring this incident under the concession manager’s attention in order to arrange that the sectional ranger take note and appropriate action, due to the fact that the wild dog population in the Kruger National Park is under severe strain. The concession manager took the matter up with the sectional ranger, Craig Williams, which was very concerned and went through a lot of trouble to ensure help was on its way. Another Echo Africa guide, Christopher Welthagen assisted the team to identify my location. It was soon after that a wonderful team of a veterinary services came to dart me.
They realized that the snare was already removed, however that my wound was not recovering well at all. Therefore, they played such a big part in helping the curing process to be speeding up my recovery. They also equipped me with an anti-snare collar. They explained that this collar might change my life. Not only will this device be used to track and monitor my whereabouts, but will also assist in preventing me from choking if I am caught in a snare by sending out an emergency signal.
From my perspective I think SANParks, Nkambeni Safari Camp and Echo Africa Safaris were extremely concerned as the rate at which my population are decreasing is tremendously high. Firstly, due to the fact that we are victims of snare poachers and secondly due to the extremity of the spreading of the K9 fever that is also affecting our numbers seriously.
I do want to take this opportunity to say thank you to this team for saving my life and helping me. I am thankful for those trying to preserve and conserve. I am now on a road of recovery and with this anti-snare collar I am now much wiser than before and will outsmart any poacher trying to harm me again. I can now continue with my work as scout for my pack.