Another juvenile Spotted Hyena was found with a cable snare around its neck and reported to the Phalaborwa Natural Heritage Foundation (PNHF) in one of the reserves in Phalaborwa. Wasting no time at all, the PNHF volunteers spent an entire Friday, the 1st of July, dedicated to tracking the animal and removing the snare.

This was the second hyena caught in a snare in the same reserve, in less than two weeks. Daily, hundreds of wire snares are put out by poachers across South Africa. The specific reserve is know to this publication.

The wire snares are used to trap animals for food, but they’re also set by poachers to capture other wildlife destined for the bushmeat trade and quite often these snares kill or maim wild animals, posing a considerable challenge to conservation efforts.

To save this hyena, the vet, Dr Rita Piso, from Mangata Veterinary Services in Hoedspruit, headed out to the reserve with the PNHF and used recordings of a distressed prey and an impala bait to attract the injured animal.

The snare was safely removed from the hyena’s neck, its wound treated, and a reversal drug administered to wake it up before setting the animal free.

According to Eugene Troskie, from the PNHF, snaring poses a two-fold threat to large carnivores: indirectly by severely reducing prey populations and directly by inadvertently snaring carnivores as a by-catch.

He said that the impact of snares on wildlife was devastating as snares are placed in an area of high animal activity and they cause suffering, pain, severe injury, and death in caught animals.

Research also showed that snaring was becoming an increasing threat to wildlife populations across the continent and there is evidence to suggest that snares are probably among the highest killers of wildlife in Africa.