Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lion health check

My examination of the lioness that night followed a practiced procedure conducted by the men I was with. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to be as up-close-and-personal with her as I was without the aid of some bait, some drug-filled darts and the support of a team.

Read more!
When the lions arrived, Lue darted both animals from the safety of his Land Cruiser. Soon, the lions were lying on their sides, bathed in a pool of light coming from the vehicle parked no more than ten metres away. Ten metres farther on the light faded rapidly and beyond that lay who-knows-what in the pitch dark of the African night, a sliver of the old moon just appearing over the horizon, not enough to make any difference.
My burly, bearded colleague Mike Briggs approach the animals with commendable caution, prodded them with a pole he kept in the vehicle and pinched the upper ear of each in turn. Their lack of reaction was reassuring and meant that we could all get out and start work. I followed Kallie from my somewhat uncomfortable seat astride the gear shift, stethoscope in hand, and checked the vital signs of the lioness, Heart rate, sixty beats a minute, six breaths in thirty seconds. All was well.

No comments: