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Friday, 7 March 2014

The Week of the Book

I have been traveling a lot so far this year. I just returned a week ago from my two week lecture tour in the UK and EU and was in the UAE for nearly two weeks before that. I’m now home but the last week has been hectic to say the least! On my return from the EU driving back from the airport, we met German children’s TV “pur+” crew at Erindi Private Game Reserve and released Athena, one of our cheetahs that was in a holding camp there getting her used to the area. The release went very well and she is now hunting and thriving. It also rained and rained this past week and our thatch roofs are still leaking, so we have covered the roofs with big plastic tarps and when the wind blows the noise is impressive to say the least.

at Erindi with the pur+ crew
We have had our share of snakebites. The day I left for the UK one of our favorite livestock guarding dogs, Feliz, was bitten and died nearly instantaneously. It was horrible, and the bites have continued. I was home only three days when my favorite horse, Shandi, came into the barn with what appeared to be a snakebite on her back leg. It was swollen, nearly double the normal size and she was in great pain. That night our veterinary and horse team stayed up with me till around 11:30pm injecting Shandi with anti-inflammatory medicine, anti-biotics, and bags of IV fluids. We were all very worried that night and for the next several days until the swelling decreased and she was able to go out with the herd again. We then had to bring Jacamina, one of our cheetahs being rehabilitated in from the field to stitch up a wound on her rear leg.  The same day one of our goats was bitten by a snake on her neck. As the inflammation increased the next 24 hours it literally started to strangle her. We did an emergency tracheotomy with the surgery lasting long after midnight. Bruce had to keep our generator running (it turns off around 11:00pm) to finish the surgery.

working on Jacomina with the pur+ crew
While all these emergencies were occurring I was trying to finish up the final edits of my book, A Future for the Cheetah. A few days later, this past weekend, one of our Anatolian Shepherds came back from a farm due to having a mass cell tumor the size of a grapefruit. Luckily, we were able to extract the mass and are very pleased the morning after surgery and now, two days later, she is doing fine. We are hopeful the tumor was completely removed. It will be shipped to a pathology lab for closer examination to see if the mass was removed in whole. The next morning we had to bring Bella in from her camp to stitch-up a wound on her shoulder. It has definitely been one crazy week!

Karibib doing well in recovery after her surgery
Whilst all of these events were ongoing, the final edits for the book went to the publisher yesterday. Along with two major grant proposals that needed completing this weekend as well! Our CCF team is amazing as we have pulled through several days of long hours under unusual circumstances with much success.

Dr. Laurie Marker

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