A Day with Shamwari vets – Darting oryx bulls

Konrad from the Shamwari Game reserve took some of the vet students out on a darting exercise with assistant vet Dr. Stokoe. They were taken across the reserve in a helicopter. Their mission? To dart two Oryx Bulls, which locally are called Gemsbok.

After being in the air for a few moments, they spotted the Oryx and began to attempt to carefully dart these lovely animals. They managed to dart one of them, but as you will see that was not the end!

“We were part of the ground team, and although the Oryx was down, he was putting up a fight and we found it tricky to avoid those long spear-like horns. The owner of the farm however grabbed the Oryx and we quickly subdued it. It was then loaded onto the back of a pick up and moved to a larger holding pen.

One down – one to go! If we thought the first one was a fighter then we were wrong. The next one proved to be more stubborn and had to be darted a second time. He also chose the most difficult area to go down and we only reached him with great difficulty. At this time we all agreed that the score was one all!

The rest of the day we captured various antelope species, some of them falling in very thick bush and only located by proper tracking. The antelope we caught included Lechwe, Red Hartebeest and Nyala. The students returned to Shamwari very late and very tired!”

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