Hooo-Hooo Volume 11 Nr 2 - Page 6

WildLife Group of the SAVA disinfectant; camera; necropsy form, pencil, pen and ruler. Optional items: forceps, ax and hacksaw; DMSO bottles, blood tubes, swabs and sterile sample bottles; bucket, brush and soap; glass slides; GPS. • Get as much information as possible from people who may have seen the animal alive: including but not by any means limited to changes in behaviour, feeding, the environment of the animal, the weather, detailed information on clinical signs and any treatment received. Any recent changes in recent weather conditions that could have caused animal deaths (drought, floods, electrical storm, etc); any signs or history of struggling before death? This should not be collected for only the dead animal, but for the remaining animals including previous health issues. Ideally, you should have a template for the recording of such information. Put one half of the brain in formalin, and send the other half on ice to your veterinarian. Assess the Condition of the Environment: Note recent weather conditions that could have caused animal deaths (drought, floods, electrical storm, etc). • Note signs of struggling before death. Assess the body condition and external appearance of the Animal: note any bite wounds or other signs of predation. If wounds are present, look for bruising and bleeding in the tissues near the wounds, which would indicate that they occurred before the animal died. If the pangolin will be euthanased, consider calling the Wildlife Biological Resource Centre (082 3 994 4 388) to have samples collected for genetic studies, as well as sperm or ova for storage. BEFORE YOU BEGIN THE EXAMINATION All carcasses should be handled as if they were harboring potentially dangerous diseases: wear gloves. Do not eat or answer the phone while performing an examination and wash your hands well when you are finished. Could this animal have a disease that is transmissible to humans, livestock or other wildlife? • Wet the skin with soapy disinfectant. If there is a history of abnormal behaviour (eg very aggressive, unusually tame), consider Rabies and consider whether you should notify a vet, take extra precautions, and make sure the person is vaccinated. If you are properly protected by vaccination, and have a mask and gloves, remove the head (see below), and cut it lengthwise down the middle. 6 Measuring the pangolin’s length Otherwise these wound most likely were caused from the carcass being scavenged. Curl the pangolin up tightly and measure the length of the animal from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail. If possible, weigh the pangolin as accurately as possible. Take a blood smear sample from an ear or tail vein (or from a severed artery during the necropsy) Slide 1 To make a blood smear, collect one TINY drop of blood with a glass slide, place it at one end of a second glass slide. Using the first slide, gently smear the blood along the length of the second slide. Make at least