Sanbona Wildlife Reserve

A tribute to our Wildlife Veterinarians on World Veterinarian Day

As Sanbona is a conservation orientated and dedicated reserve it is important gauge the balance of when to intervene with management action, and when to let nature take its course.  With animals being threatened, endangered, rare or high profile- such as cheetah, lions, elephants and rhinos we try to help the survival of the species as much as we can.  If an animal has sustained an injury that we deem needs medical intervention we contact one of the dedicated Wildlife Veterinarians that have worked with us over the years.

Through Sanbona’s journey Dr Johan Joubert, Dr Murray Stokoe and Dr Willem Burger have helped us to immobilise and treat injured animals, collar animals for research purposes, administer management interventions to lions and cheetahs to help manage populations, treated various secondary injuries and helped capture animals for relocation to other reserves.  To be a Wildlife Vet takes a true passion for wildlife, but what makes a truly remarkable Wildlife Vet is the ability to make decisions calmly under pressure whilst being surrounded by potentially dangerous animals.  Each of these three Vets are just that, Truly Remarkable.

Dr Johan Joubert has been associated with Sanbona Wildlife Reserve since its inception in 2002.  He has been practising Veterinary since 1980 and has become one of the most experienced wildlife vets in Africa over the years.  Not only does Johan help reserves such as us with veterinary needs, but he also consults on Wildlife Management practices and is involved with various education projects.

Dr Murray Stokoe started his veterinary career as an assistant to Dr Johan Joubert in 2006.  Thus, from this time he has had a relationship with Sanbona.  In 2012 Dr Murray started his own practice, Southern Cross Wildlife Services and has continued to help us where he can.  Recently he aided in work on some white rhino on the reserve and took the time to show the children from the Caleo Learning Centre one of these great grey beasts up close.

Dr Willem Burger is a very well-known veterinarian in the greater Oudtshoorn area since 1980s. Dr Burger also works across southern Africa and have been involved with Veterinary work in Senegal and the Ivory Coast.  In 2014 he helped collar brown hyenas for a PhD study that was being conducted on Sanbona and the surrounding areas.  Since then he has helped relocate giraffes, dart lions, cheetah and Cape Mountain Zebras, and treat wounded rhinos as well as given advice when ever needed.

It is always a pleasure and an honour working with these three dedicated, knowledgeable vets.  We are thankful to have them as part of our extended Sanbona team.

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