Conservationist gave bushpig last kiss of life

2012-07-25 00:00

A LOCAL good Samaritan gave a young bushpig the kiss of life on Monday only to find that it later died. Nicholas Gumede’s excitement was short-lived after an SPCA official told him yesterday that the piglet he rescued had died.

SPCA official Maureen Vida broke the news to Gumede when he went there yesterday to check on the progress of the piglet, appropriately named Nick-Duct.

“I’m sorry, but the pig unfortunately died last night,” said Vida.

Arms folded, Gumede looked away. Gumede is a Duzi Umngeni Conservation Trust (Duct) supervisor and found the stricken piglet while at work. He and his team were working in the Grimthorpe Road area on Monday, clearing invasive alien plants from the Dusi River, when they came across a litter of bushpig babies.

The mother had disappeared.

When they came closer the piglets ran away, except for one which appeared to be unconscious.

“At first I thought it was a snake. I went to have a closer look and discovered that it was a bush-piglet. I had never seen one before,” he said. He took the piglet to his car and switched on the air conditioner. “I then noticed that its heart was beating slowly.”

Despite the fact that Gumede had never performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on an animal before, he decided to take a chance. “I took my hand and put it on its chest. One, two, three, four … I pumped. And on the fifth pump I noticed a slight difference and improvement.

“It was breathing much better than before,” said Gumede, who had received CPR training about a week before.

He said he felt like Superman performing such a “miracle”.

“It feels so right to do something you have been trained for and saving a life.”

He later took the animal to the SPCA.

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