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News - July 2010

World Cup 2010 has come and gone in the blink of an eye. But how has our wildlife been faring?

Rhino war

The gruesome war against rhinos in Africa continues. South Africa has lost over 120 rhino so far this year, and counting. Some unscrupulous poachers have now resorted to ‘sustainable poaching’ where incredibly, they gain access to some of the most dangerous and controlled drugs on earMutilated rhino faceth, and are darting rhino from helicopters in order to steal their horns. In theory this would be preferable to killing them, except when their dehorning efforts end up looking like this: This rhino in South Africa had her face sawn off with a chainsaw, and is now breathing through a hole between her eyes. Her calf was found dead as she could not smell or call to it.  

In efforts to stem the tide of the massacre in Zimbabwe, AWARE participated in Marwell Zimbabwe Trust rhino dehorning operations in May where all the remaining rhino at 2 National Parks were safely dehorned and ear notched for identification purposes (specific details intentionally withheld). The PWMA scouts were a pleasure to work with, and their good monitoring performance can largely be attributed to the Rhino Monitoring Course held by Richard Emslie and Keryn Adcock of the African Rhino Specialist Group last year.  

 Rhino immobilised for dehorningIn June, together with Dr Chris Foggin and AWMC, we trans-located the last 2 rhino from Nyamaneche National Park (where 3 rhino were poached earlier this year) to safer establishments. PWMA has now given AWARE permission to fundraise to provide assistance with intensive monitoring, dehorning and protection for rhino in another specific Intensive Protection Zone in the country. Although donors have so far come forward with about half the money to do this, we have a budget deficit of about USD$20 000. We are urgently seeking public support for this exercise. Any amount will help. If you have a product or service we can raffle, or if you can contribute fuel, money or camping gear, or help to organise a fund raising event, please contact     

Other cases

Rhino are not the sole focus of AWARE, and we have had other cases requiring rehabilitation these last few months. The horses at one of the National Parks received a much needed boost of winter food, dip, veterinary treatment and husbandry advice. If anyone is willing to help with continued feeding of these animals please contact us. AWARE helped out the Friend Foundation by darting a feral dog living in the park next to the City Bowling Club in the centre of Harare. He was in potential danger as he was barking threateningly at passers-by, and could not be approached. He is now making good progress in responding to people at the Friend Foundation. We also castrated a zebra at Bally Vaughan Animal Sanctuary that was doing his best to make all the lady donkeys pregnant.

Kariba Elephant

 Keith examining swollen elephant footLast week we were called to Kariba to treat an elephant with a hugely swollen right foreleg. After immobilising the young bull, we were hoping to find a foreign body or snare that was causing the problem, but there was nothing obvious from the outside. The swelling was above the animal’s knee and his ‘wrinkles’ were all ironed out. It would have been extremely useful to have a portable X-ray machine, and we appeal to anybody in possession of a good quality second hand machine that they don’t want, to come forward. We injected the elephant with a very expensive antibiotic, Draaxin, which lasts for two weeks, and administered regional intravenous penicillin and sulphonamides. He also received a big dose of anti-inflammatory. His prognosis is guarded if the infection has reached the bone or joints, however a picture taken nine days after the treatment shows a fair improvement with return of some wrinkles, so we remain hopeful. We may have to re-inject him at 14 days.  


Lisa, meanwhile, has continued to work behind the scenes in animal welfare as part of the Animal Welfare Legislation Steering Committee set up by the Department of Veterinary Services. The intention is to augment our current legislation and bring it in line with worldwide standards set by the O.I.E (World Organisation for Animal Health). More good news on the animal welfare front is that last week PWMA convened a meeting dealing with the future (and welfare) of captive breeding of lions in Zimbabwe. A committee has been set up to develop a Code of Practice for lion breeders to adhere to, which will hopefully end up being turned into regulations. Keith is on this committee.

In other exciting news SPANA have agreed to sponsor the salary of a new veterinarian for AWARE for two weeks a month. During this two weeks, the veterinarian will be ambulatory throughout the country and will dedicate his /her time treating donkeys and other draught animals. In the other two weeks he/she will be trained to deal with wildlife species as well as getting involved with Medi-Vet’s commercial work. We are currently taking applications for the position.

Membership Drive

In order to sustain our organisation we have now instituted a membership drive. Members help to promote the conservation and welfare of wildlife through their annual membership fee ($10 for adults, $8 for children and pensioners, $50 for corporates). Members will have the opportunity to participate in conservation related events. They will receive invitations to our quarterly talks by vets and guest lecturers on conservation related topics. They will also get discounted entries at our fundraising events, and of course receive our newsletters. All local members additionally will receive an AWARE branded wind up torch – no batteries required! You can join AWARE at Chisipite Vet or the 24 hour Vet Surgery or contact

Also, Harare residents don't forget to go to Patricia Glyn's talk on Friday 16th at 1900hrs at the Celebration Centre to support Meryl Harrison.


We have received a huge amount of support from various kindred spirits over the last 2 months and we are ever grateful. Apologies if I have left anyone off this list (my mind can be like a sieve) - please just email me and you will be mentioned in our next newsletter. 

  • SAVE Australia – Nicholas Duncan and his crew - for ground to air radios, range finders, binoculars, a camera, and overalls.
  • Helen and Ian Fairnie who organised and lugged a second hand anaesthetic machine and other bits and pieces all the way over from Aus for us.
  • Peter Adamson - the anaesthetic machine.
  • Marwell Zimbabwe Trust – organising and finding funding for the rhino operations.
  • Medi-Vet P/L – horsefeed, and horse dip.
  • Caroline Goschen and Mandy Nightingale – horsefeed.
  • Worldwide Veterinary Services – much needed veterinary supplies.
  • Brandi Green – veterinary supplies.
  • Andrea Watson – sugar, and organisation of a raffle prize.
  • Ilala Lodge - raffle prize.
  • THZ Livestock & Wildlife/Tourism Division – raffle prize.
  • Andrew and Wendy Connolly – raffle prize.
  • Karl Snater and The Victoria Falls Hotel – raffle prize
  • Darren Hayward and Elephant Hills - raffle prize.
  • Bob Knight – Mclintock Syringe.
  • Spar Ballantyne Park – hamper and charity day.
  • Ian Macpherson – cash donation.
  • Dave Bradshaw – raffle prize.
  • Zoe Van Zyl – staunch monthly support.
  • Kariba town community and Bryce and Lara Clemence – money for fuel and drugs for the elephant, and accommodation.
  • SPANA – future support of veterinarian.
  • Sue Burr at Cactus Design and Print – discounted leaflet printing.
  • Stuart Gordon – donation of consumables.
  • Jayne Godfrey – tireless efforts with the membership drive.
  • Chris Scott - fab pictures.
  • And of course, all our new members, 87 in total.



More about AWARE
AWARE is the only conservation veterinary trust in Zimbabwe run by veterinarians. We focus on the welfare of wildlife and conservation of wildlife habitats. Read more


Address: 16 Southam Road, Greystone Park, Harare, Zimbabwe

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