Capture emergencies

Injury and wound suffered by the capture team:

Any qualified doctor may treat it. But if the animal is
carnivore rabies is to be suspected.  If the animal dies
during the operation and if it has injured anybody it is safe
to go for a course of post bite anti -rabi
es vaccination.  If
the animal is alive for 10 or more days it is not a must to
have an antirabi
es course. However, if the bite or maul is
either on the head or palm treatment should be started
preferably with serum.

Simultaneously and discontinued afterwards if found not
necessary. The rabies virus is passed only through the
saliva.  But cats often lick the paw in the grooming process
and may harbour the virus from saliva. Hence even a
scratch should be considered as a bite.

Carnivores, which are ordinarily, shy, if comes out from
forest and start behaving “boldly” and bite people it could
be a case of rabies and handled accordingly.

Snake bite

Snakebite is not associated with capture.  But polyvalent
anti snake venom for all major important snakes’ bites like
cobra, krait and viper are available in most places in
Kerala. Try to choose a hospital having nephrology
(kidney) division to handle emergencies like kidney failure.  
Ordinarily anti snake venom has an expiry date of 5years
under refrigeration.  So it will be advisable if a couple of
doses are kept in mofussil areas in case of emergency.
Please bear in mind that the traditional system of treating
of envenomation has not been proved scientifically.

Chemical restraint

Since the last two decades there had been an increased
awareness and use of drugs to handle wild animals.  It is
popularly called as tranquillisation, better called as drug
immobilisation or chemical restraint. Development of
remote drug delivery system coupled with the discovery of
potent, safe drugs that can be administered
intramuscularly has promoted this technique.  A full detail
of this procedure is professional and an idea about this
technique is a must for wildlife managers/ field biologists.

The following points may be considered before attempting
to capture animals using drugs.

1.   Enough expertise
2.   Accidents can happen.
3.   Enough infrastructure support and organisational skill
4.   Post immobilisation problem.

It may always be born in mind that this is teamwork and the
entire team should be apprised of the procedure before
venturing into the operation.


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