Black-backed jackal litter saved from trafficking syndicate, SAPS investigating

One of the five black-backed jackals who were saved from a trafficking syndicate. Picture: Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital

One of the five black-backed jackals who were saved from a trafficking syndicate. Picture: Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital

Published Oct 7, 2022


Five black-backed jackal pups which were destined for a life of captivity stemming from wildlife trafficking were rescued recently by members of the SAPS who played a vital role in ferrying the pups to safety.

The pups were transported to the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital to ensure that they receive the best care possible in order to be released back into the wild.

The hospital said on a Facebook post that “the black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas) puppies were rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. Thin and dehydrated, they were in desperate need of veterinary attention, but now safely under our care, these pups are recovering well.”

Picture: Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital

The hospital conveyed their thanks to Warrant Officer Lizelle Boshoff and Warrant Officer Marlene Slabbert of the SAPS, Orkney station, for rescuing these pups. A case has been opened and supporting evidence was submitted by the hospital.

“In the interim, these five pups are eating up a storm. On an optimal diet of a nutrient-rich milk formula, and finely chopped-up protein sources, #OneMeal per pup costs R24. Feeding four times a day means that it costs us around R480 per day to feed all five of them,” the hospital said.

The SA National Biodiversity Institute explained that the “black-backed” refers to the broad, dark saddle which, on the upper parts of the body, extends from the neck to the base of the tail.

Black-backed jackals have a distinctive call known almost as well as the howl of the wolf. They are the most common and best known of all the African carnivores. The name “jackal” is frequently used to denote the cunning and versatility so typical of this species.

Despite intense persecution as a livestock predator and rabies vector, the black-backed jackal has remained a common species in most parts of its range, even in areas close to large cities.

Dr Karin Lourens, owner and wildlife vet at the hospital, said the pups are in good health and that “once they are older, they will enter into a soft release within the reserve which they will be released into”.

Picture: Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital

The wildlife vets at the hospital treat indigenous species free of charge, with the ultimate goal of releasing animals back into the wild or ensuring a good quality of life if release is not possible.

If you would like to support the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital’s treatment and care of wildlife, you can find out how here.

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