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African Parks, the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) and the Zambian Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) removed a snare from a spotted hyena in Liuwa Plain National Park at the end of last week.

spotted hyena
© Michael Pitt / African Parks

The Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) was performing a prey survey in Liuwa National Park when they came across a hyena that had been trapped in a poacher’s snare.

spotted hyena
© Michael Pitt / African Parks

The hyena had thrashed around and had broken the tree the snare was attached too, which resulted in it dragging a large log around by the wire snare caught around its ankle, to the point of exhaustion.

spotted hyena
© Michael Pitt / African Parks

The team acted quickly, improvising and building a homemade lasso. Under normal circumstances it would be ill advised to approach a hyena unless it has been sedated, but because the animal was physically drained the ZCP team decided to try and release it from the snare without darting it.

spotted hyena
© Michael Pitt / African Parks

It took the hyena rescue team a couple of minutes to get the lasso over its neck. They subsequently threw a tarpaulin and mats over the animal to keep it still it while they attempted to cut the snare off. The snare was successfully removed from the animal within 90 seconds and everyone safely was back in the car.

spotted hyena
© Michael Pitt / African Parks

Hyenas have always been very resilient creatures and after a quick assessment, the team, concluded that the hyena would make a full recovery and needed no further human intervention.

The hyena was left to recover on its own. As for the rescue team, they can be proud they were able to get the job done in such a short space of time with limited resources and that they were able to rescue the hyena.


For more on how locals communities are saving Liuwa Plains National Park read: Living Wild in Liuwa.

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African Parks

African Parks is a non-profit organisation that takes on total responsibility for the rehabilitation and long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments, wildlife organisations and local communities. We operate thirteen national parks in nine countries: Rwanda, Zambia, Mozambique, Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Malawi and Benin. Please see www.african-parks.org or visit our Facebook page for more information.