The Majete Wildlife Reserve in Malawi is a protected area for key species to thrive – but it hasn’t always been that way. Before 2003, all the wildlife had been hunted out – elephants, rhinos, lions, buffalo, and even warthog – only a few antelope remained. Ever since a change in management, the park has become one of Africa’s best conservation success stories, and it’s one that we’re humbled to be part of.
Rewilding involves restoring what was lost, including the key species. Catching, transporting, and reintroducing wild animals from one area to another is not an easy task, and our vets work with the rangers to ensure the process is safe and stress-free for both animals and people. After decades of their species’ absence, three cheetahs and fourteen African wild dogs have become the area’s newest residents.
Over the years, our veterinary team nearby in the city of Blantyre has helped with everything from health checks on orphaned serval kittens to critical first aid on pangolins rescued from poachers. We have now established the Majete Veterinary Care Unit within the park, so we’re able to store specialised equipment and supplies on-site and respond quicker to wildlife emergencies.
Our job isn’t just to help wildlife thrive within the park; we also care for the four-legged rangers guarding them. After two highly-trained anti-poaching dogs, Milo, a Dutch Shepherd, and Gilly, a Belgian Malinois, joined the team, we were asked to assist with key aspects of their lives – everything from selecting suitable handlers to providing them with all their routine care.
Monitoring wildlife is equally as important as rescuing and treating animals in need. That’s why we assist the rangers with tracking species of concern, in particular lions, to better understand how to protect the individual lion, their pride, and the people in surrounding villages. This involves working around the clock to find the lions, safely dart them, and gently attach a telemetry collar to track their movements.
Checking camera traps, tracking wildlife with GPS collars, and attending to injured wildlife. It’s all in a day’s work at the Majete Wildlife Reserve. Learn how you can help us protect wildlife across a reserve in Malawi.
Images in this blog post have been altered to protect the identity of the rangers.