The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital saved the life of a blue crane that suffered a stress-induced collapse.
‘We received a call about a Blue crane (Grus paradisea) that was found collapsed in the Free State. Once we had collected the bird and he had safely arrived at our hospital, we examined him and other than being weak, we found no visible injuries. Blood results revealed that he may have been suffering from capture myopathy,’ the Hospital wrote on Facebook.
‘Capture myopathy is a condition with marked morbidity and mortality that occurs predominantly in wild animals mostly as a result of inflicted stress and physical exertion that would typically occur with prolonged or short intense pursuit, capture, restraint or transportation of wild animals. The condition carries a grave prognosis, and despite intensive extended and largely non-specific supportive treatment, the success rate is poor,’ according to Conserving wildlife in a changing world: Understanding capture myopathy—a malignant outcome of stress during capture and translocation – Dorothy Breed, Leith C R Meyer, […], and Tertius A Kohn (2019).
‘We placed the crane on IV fluids and tube fed him for about a week until he regained his strength and was able to eat on his own. During this time, we were monitoring specific values to assess his kidney function as well as active muscle breakdown. Once we were confident that the crane was healthy, we arranged for the fitment of a SAFRING. He was then taken back to the property he came from and was successfully released,’ the Hospital concluded.
The blue crane is South Africa’s national bird and is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.
Image credit: Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital /Ashleigh Pienaar & Rosie Sims