Rescued newborn nyala

2016-09-15 10:13
Brian Maphanga from Free Me Wildlife Rehabilitation in Howick with a week old Nyala that was brought to the centre after being found on the side of the road in Bishopstowe.

Brian Maphanga from Free Me Wildlife Rehabilitation in Howick with a week old Nyala that was brought to the centre after being found on the side of the road in Bishopstowe. (Ian Carbutt)

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A newborn nyala, with his umbilical cord still attached, was found on the tar road in the Ashburton area on Monday morning.

The baby nyala was found by Deborah Dick as she drove from the Ashburton Training Centre to her home in Bishopstowe.

“I saw a car nearly hit the baby nyala and it jumped, trying to get away. It was calling like a little goat and seemed confused,” she said.

Dick pulled over and checked, but did not see any sign of other nyalas nearby, so she grabbed the baby animal and put him in her car for safety.

She then called a friend who works for an animal centre in Underberg, and was referred to the Free Me Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Howick. Officials there told her she should take the nyala with her and they would fetch it from her home.

“The newborn nyala seemed very calm sitting in the backseat of my car, like a little puppy.

“I took him home. My kids were excited and wanted to put a hoodie over him to keep him warm,” said Dick.

Free Me centre manager Wade Whitehead said the three-day-old nyala was now under their care.

“The baby nyala is showing all the right signs. He is healthy and growing well, and should be released back into the wild soon,” he said.

Whitehead said their centre takes care of injured and sick wildlife, which are released back into their natural habitat once they seem healthy.

“Once he is six months old we will take him off the milk and introduce him to his natural food.

“In seven to eight months from now we will tag and release him into the natural habitat where nyalas usually occur,” he said.

The nyala will be monitored for a year to ensure that he adapts to his habitat.

But Whitehead warned members of the public against picking up wild animals from the side of the road.

He explained that the animal is not abandoned in most cases, but might be left there by its startled mother, who often returned later to feed it.

Dick has promised to visit the nyala with her children before he is released.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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