Injured giraffe, experienced wildlife conservation rangers know when Nature’s Way is the best wildlife conservation.
There he stood… so majestic in the trees. The giraffe is a unique animal that literally stands out above the crowd. That’s probably why this larger than life creature became Nikela’s icon.
But wait, “He’s injured!” Russ points out.
I grab the binoculars.
“His left ‘horn’ (ossicone) has been ripped right off and is dangling down.”
“That’s awful! He must be in pain!”
“Can you see if the wound has healed at all?”
“No, he’s still looking straight at us. But, there are flies. Lots of flies”
“It’s amazing that he is eating. I can see him chewing his cud.”
Talking to Rangers
Later on while talking to the rangers we discover that the giraffe was presumably injured in a fight with the dominant male. Apparently giraffe males fight by swinging their heads and banging each other with their long necks.
“Maybe he hit his head against a tree and broke it!” One of the ranger’s speculates shrugging his shoulders.
To Russ and I getting this wild giraffe the medical help he needed was the right thing to do. We soon learned that in the wildlife conservation world there are appropriate and inappropriate times to intervene.
Hmm! That sounded familiar. As a former psychotherapist I knew that helping wasn’t always helping. That the best help was sometimes stepping back and allowing a client to figure it out and find her own strength.
Was this an appropriate time to help?
This majestic animal was injured, still eating and functioning with possibly a good chance of recover if the broken issicone was removed and the wound treated… or at least so it seemed to us novices.
I reached out on Facebook and we got educated.
When humans cause an animal harm, like via snares or other poaching attack, intervention is called for. However, when two males volley for leadership the policy (in some reserves) becomes one of “survival of the fittest” to maintain a strong gene pool. Not what we wanted to hear, although it made sense.
Here’s how Wesley explained it…
“As a person that works with animal conservation it is always hard you say this but if it got hurt naturally then it wasn’t meant to be part of the gene pool. That’s how we get evolution survival of the fittest. I hate seeing animals hurt in my reserve but over time you learn when to get involved and when to stand back and let nature take its course. If he is strong enough to survive then he will.”
This was confirmed by the Rangers at the Game Park (which will remain nameless as we found it a good place and do not want some who may think differently to give it any bad press.)
Guess we as humans like to think we know best and want to help. And like I learned years ago, helping isn’t always helping. Although thinking about that injured giraffe Russ and I would still like to jump in and alleviate his pain.Fortunately, experienced Wildlife Rangers, as they work in harmony with the environment, come to know that Nature’s Way is the best wildlife conservation.
Follow our adventures
If you SHARE this
Please include #NikelaAfrica in your comments, thanks.
Want to join us in helping people saving wildlife?
100% of your gift will go to save wildlife, we totally pay our own way.