Tanzania – The Battle against Poaching
It simply does not stop. Poaching in Africa continues to generate massive amounts of capital. The results are deadly: Animal species such as rhinoceroses face extinction, elephant babies lose their mothers and often suffer tortuous deaths - as do many other wild animals which become trapped in wire snares.
Wild animal rescue centres provide a valuable service in combating this atrocious development. In order to save the life of orphaned young animals, however, a special milk substitute is necessary which must correspond exactly to the needs of each individual species. The Academy began in 2015 to develop such a special baby food which was used to support the NGO Kilimanjaro Animal C.R.E.W., founded by the veterinarians Elisabeth Stegmaier and Dr. Dr. Laszlo Paizs on the Makoa Farm in Tanzania. Their objective is to protect the fascinating animal world as best as possible. The Academy offers advice nearly daily – via WhatsApp or by being physically present. Dr. Miriam Wiesner was there only in December 2018 in order to support both veterinarians in their daily work and to deliver in-kind donations from the Academy to the organization as well to the ‘Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute’ (TAWIRI). For example, she helped rescue animals living in the wild which had become trapped in a wire snare:
“We were able to free two eland antelopes and a giraffe from poachers’ wire snares. To do this we first had to find the animals in the Tanzanian bush. Quite a difficult task: the immobilization of free-ranging wild animals is always a challenge for veterinarians because you have no time to lose. But we’re so pleased that we could successfully rescue these animals."
Kilimanjaro Animal C.R.E.W. reports:
“We can look back on both a thrilling as well as anxious year. The Academy’s extensive support enabled us to help wild animals in distress in the most diverse situations. In May
we were able to successfully release a buffalo cow which had lived for many years in our cow herd into the wild in Kilimanjaro National Park. She willingly joined a wild herd of buffalo. The release into the wild of a cheetah we had rescued is no option due to both its behaviour and its injuries, but it is now nonetheless living in its own new outer enclosure which could be completed with the help of the Academy. And it seems to feel quite at home there. At the moment, we have several young animals in our care. A genet, a bush baby and a duiker are developing splendidly and they will be released into freedom as soon as they are old enough.
Finally we would like to express our gratitude for the sponsored equipment. The urgently needed x-ray machine will help us to treat injuries more precisely and success-fully. The two pulse oximeters (one of which was generously donated to the TAWIRI veterinarian) have already provided valuable help in the rescue of two rhinoceros babies. We were also able to assist elephants living in the wild with the help of the equipment supplied by the Academy. The aluminum Zarges boxes are wonderfully well-equipped for missions in the bush, as
we have everything at our disposal: accessible, organized, hygienic and immediate. It was possible to treat two elephant bulls in the bush and then promptly let them free. One of them had been injured in a fight with another elephant and had been discovered with an abscess; the other was the victim of poachers and just barely survived a bullet wound.
We also used the elephant milk substitute with a rhinoceros baby which had been rescued from a pride of lions in the Ngorongoro Crater. Rhinoceroses also seem to love the Academy’s milk replacer.”
A Future for Elephants
Raising young animals using special baby food is an extremely difficult undertaking. If you succeed, an even larger challenge lies ahead:
to release them again into the wild. This was successfully accomplished in Tanzania in the case of two rescued elephants.
What a story: A little elephant bull had been discovered already in 2017 with a wound from a spear. There was no sign of its mother. In order to save ‘Ndarakwai’s’ life, he not only received veterinary treatment, but was lovingly pepped up with the Academy’s special milk substitute. Time and again, people had offered to carry replacements for the young animal to Tanzania in their luggage – a major operation with a happy ending: the little elephant developed magnificently and soon attracted the attention of a somewhat older elephant cow, Riziki, which was also in the care of humans. Riziki adopted the little animal and both could be released into the wild in 2018.
The Kilimanjaro Animal C.R.E.W. writes:
“The young elephant bull which had joined Riziki, the elephant cow in our care, developed very well thanks to the milk substitute sponsored by the Academy.
Together with its adoptive mother, it was able to be successfully released into the wild in October. Both elephants joined a wild herd and are regularly
observed by rangers. We are especially pleased that Riziki apparently was accompanied by a bull during her estrus cycle.”