In southwestern Malawi, the Majete Wildlife Reserve is a protected area for key species to thrive – but it hasn't always been that way.
Prior to 2003, the area was a wasteland. All the wildlife had been hunted out – elephants, rhinos, lions, buffalo, even warthog – only a few antelope remained. Poaching was a constant and deadly threat.
In 2003, African Parks took over management of the park, working in collaboration with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), and have since made significant strides towards restoring it. Our vets, located close by in Blantyre, have been taking part in this journey by providing expert care to wildlife as needed.
This year, in 2021, we made our partnership with African Parks official. With two highly trained anti-poaching dogs joining the team of rangers, our vets have been recruited to support the health and well-being of the animals. We're assisting with key aspects of the animal's lives – everything from helping in selecting suitable handlers to providing the dogs with all their routine care.
READ MORE: Learn about our efforts to treat injured wildlife and track endangered species in the field.
Before the anti-poaching dogs arrived, the most suitable dog handlers had to be selected. In order to assist the park manager in Majete to do this, five rangers spent the day at our clinic in Blantyre to help with our work – everything from cleaning the kennels to feeding and handling the dogs in the clinic.
They even observed Dr. Dagmar examine Oskar, her own dog, to understand how we check an animal's vitals and assess its overall health.
All the rangers displayed great interest and showed strong potential, so it wasn't easy for our team to select the best two for the dog handler positions.
For young visitors to the clinic that day, the rangers were a welcomed surprise. The rangers were very accommodating to the children and answered the many questions they had.
Veterinary care does far more than treat injuries and disease, it prevents ecosystems being disrupted, diseases being introduced and stops habitats becoming overwhelmed and overpopulated.
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