Rabid kudu bull shot in Cimbebasia yard

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Donna Collins

Swakopmund-A large Kudu bull was shot dead in the yard of a Cimbebasia home yesterday morning, after authorities suspected the animal to be carrying rabies.

A distress call was made to Namibian Marshall Ranger Sheriff Sean Naude, informing him a big kudu had entered the fsmily’s yard and that the animal appeared tame and was foaming at the mouth.

Without wasting a moment Naude jumped into a taxi and sped off to the address, where the ‘condemned’ animal stood wedged between the narrow outside passageway of the boundary wall.

“The residents were too terrified to leave their house, as the docile animal was bleeding from the nose,” Sheriff Naude told the New Era, whilst still at the scene. “I called the Ministry of Environment and Tourism to assist me in the matter and they sent an officer, who shot the animal with a silencer rifle.

“This was an emergency situation and clearly the animal was in the late stage of rabies, so it was decided that the animal needed to be euthanised immediately. We dragged the carcass out of the yard and began a clean-up operation to remove any traces of blood or body fluids from the ground, as rabies can be contagious for both humans and domestic pets.”

He said it took a team of seven MET officers and marshall rangers to load the heavy carcass onto a bakkie. The animal was taken to the State Veterinary for an autopsy to confirm whether it was in fact infected with rabies, after which the body will be burned.

Naude said due to the mountainous and natural bush setting that surrounds Cimbebasia, jackals, kudu and wildlife are often spotted in the area. He also said that the Namibian marshall rangers patrol team is on standby 24/7 to assist in fighting crime and that they work closely with the public and all law enforcement units and MET.

The rangers also focus on wildlife and environmental conservation and tourist protection. Naude doubles up as a snake catcher doing rescues from people’s home to release the reptiles back into their natural habitat. He can be contacted on 081-2010821 or the call centre 085919.

Meanwhile Dr Voigts of Windhoek Veterinary Clinic said considering the kudu had recognisable rabies symptoms, under the circumstances the matter was handled correctly. He said one has no choice but to get rid of an animal with rabies, and as in this case calling in the authorities to assist was the right thing to do.

He said that while there have been no reported cases of rabies being transmitted from kudu to humans, every case must be treated with utmost caution. He also advised the public to ensure their domestic pets are vaccinated against rabies.

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