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Excerpt from Bush Vet: My Hidden Battles to Save Wildlife by Clay Wilson and Tony Park

Bush VetThe Wild Card blog has shared an excerpt from Bush Vet: My Hidden Battles to Save Wildlife by Clay Wilson and Tony Park. Divided into two parts, this excerpt relates how Wilson, a wildlife veterinarian, is called out to treat a trapped leopard inside the cook house at a hunting lodge.

Wilson describes how he darts the animal, which has been shot and is badly injured, through a mesh ventilation panel on the wall. Read the excerpts:

It was October and the air was hot and heavy, expectant with the promise of rain. The grass on the side of the road was long and yellow, almost brittle from the months without moisture. The mopane trees’ butterfly-shaped leaves had turned red gold, but soon the whole park would be rejuvenated and cloaked in a lushgreen cloak. A fresh start.

Although the road was wide and tarred smooth, the speed limit was 80 kilometres an hour and I stuck to it. I had treated too many wild animals that had been seriously injured on this main route through to the Namibian border crossing. I took a left, onto the dirt road heading south towards the famous Savuti plains.

As I pulled, I saw its blood being smeared on the floor of the kitchen. When I had it clear of the table where it had been hiding, I saw that it was a young female. I rolled her over and saw that her right shoulder was a mess of matted, bloodied fur. There were numerous puncture wounds, which told me she had been hit by a blast from a shotgun.

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