Original Source: African Wildlife Conservation Fund
When the African Wildlife Conservation Fund receives a report of an animal trapped in a snare, but still alive, all other priorities seem to fade away and we do all we can to get to that animal as soon as possible and give it the best chance of survival. This is exactly what we did after receiving a report of a brown hyaena caught in a snare along the Savé River.
The animal was successfully darted and went down calmly, but things took an interesting turn when we approached and found the female hyaena surrounded by three little pups. One was very sadly already dead, but the other two were squirming around in the dirt calling and nuzzling for their mother. They could not have been more than a few days old, if that. We acted quickly and quietly and removed the snare, which luckily had not cut into her flesh yet. We treated surface wounds, administered antibiotics and a drip to re-hydrate her.
Amazingly, the pups, with a little nudge in the right direction, started to suckle on their mother. We swiftly moved away, and out of sight, so as not to alarm the hyaena when she woke up. We watched from a distance and were elated when we saw the female back on her feet and acknowledging the pups!
What we witnessed was testament to the resilience of wild animals. Whilst caught in a snare the female had begun to dig a den around her knowing that she was about to give birth! We are just glad that we got to her before the poachers came back to check their snares. The irresponsible and thoughtless placement of one snare could have claimed the lives of four animals!