Friday, September 21, 2012

Release of Tamandua

 During the release, she showed all the signs of the independent animal, with all the instincts intact.
As soon as she disattached herself from me immediately and immediately started looking for ants and termites. Even though we were watching her as quite as we could, she was very alert to any noise that was coming from us and going into the defensive pose
She smelled termites on a cahoon ..
she foraged on the pile of rotten cahoon leaves for some time, checking for termites
considered climbing on a tall and very thick tree..
smelled it, and rejected in favor of thinner trees full of vines and termites
This was the most important thing for us- to see that she would be going high up in the protection of the rainforest canopy, rather than foraging on the ground.
This is how high she climbed
close-up. She is foraging thru the foliage and debrie on the vines high above us.

i started drinking water and made some sound with the bottle that allerted her and she stopped moving, just froze high up on the tree

She was moving at very good pace- showing complete comfort in her new environment, while three of us were sitting on the ground in 3 different locations- that way without moving, at least one of us always had a view of her movement. Each of us had plenty of water and some food in the backpacks, because for the successful observation you must be absolutely quite for a number of hours, sitting on the ground and watching without making any noises.

 This is the type of environment that we picked for the release- big termites nests everywhere around with a lot of termite tunnels going up and down.

After 4 hours of observation, we realized that despite our best efforts, we make sounds by moving a little bit in our uncomfortable sitting positions, and any of those noises were scaring her.  Since she showed no signs of distress or panic, we felt comfortable to leave her and return to Caves Branch Lodge.
video taken during the release: Video

Observatons May 11, 2012- Aug 29, 2012

This tamandua was rescued by ACES at Amberguis Caye on May 4, 2012. They found her disoriented, with bleeding wounds on the tail and legs, in a sewage area at the part of town where we think she was kept as a pet, until she escaped.
She was delivered to the Forestry Department on May 6th, and we took her from there for the first assessment with Dr Isabelle at Wildlife Clinic. She was given a shot of ibromectin and additional dewormer was administered later that week. X-ray showed broken bone in the left paw.
Immediately some injuries were identified: broken paw, wounds on tail and legs. Since then she is under our observation and had 2 more assessments at the clinic.
given Vit B complex in coconut water 1dd
Pyrantel 15 mg/kg oral
praziquantel 5mg/kg IM injection in the hind leg

Approach: to eliminate stress on her broken paw the enclosure was modified -  the tree for climbing was shortened just to give her access to the upper nest- 2 feet above the ground, and there was a plastic container on the ground level with some termites nest in it and a big container with termites was placed near it.  Termites nest 35-75 lbs can be placed in it, and to prevent the termites from leaving it, we place some rotten cahoon leaves as well as old wood on the bottom. That allows the termites to continue living and re-building their nest at times when she is not working on it.  This container was placed inside larger container with water inside- termites cannot cross the water barrier.

Next assessment was done on May 10th, 2012  : I was able to identify additional injuries- her back leg was not functioning properly, it was dragged on the ground 1/2 of the time, and instead of stepping on it properly, she would put it all the time in the position as if it was sprained. It was creating wound on her skin that were not healing.  Her tail was dragging on the ground as well , creating a contstant raw wound and profuse bleeding.  Under her arms there was some irritation that looked like was caused by may be a rope that was used to keep her by those people who kept her as a pet.We were given Arnica  30c drops as well as Symphyton 6c, 1-3 drops - oral  as well as Arnica gel applied for the paw.
This is the tip of her tale.
Progress by June 2nd:

 back leg wounds started healing

Skin condition on the abdomen didn't improve, but started spreading to the back- almost as a belt: dr I suggested that it is mites, and ivromectin 0.1cc was given in coconut water.

ivromectin 0.1cc was given in coconut water.

July 4th: skin condition is the same, although the rest of the injuries are definitely better. Her spirits are high, she is relaxed, and generally speaking- high energy, but without  stress or anxiety.  She started being interested in some additional fruits- petaya, papaya and banana. She likes to mesh it now herself and can spend up to 40 minutes working on meshing, leaking it and then another 30- 40 mins cleaning between her toes.

View of the left paw, that was broken, it is healing as x-ray showed and it is visibly much better, although not completely healed. 

 back paw is functioning properly, there was no re-opened wounds.
 Skin condition stays the same in some areas, but there is a hair growth in a lot of areas.

in the areas where the impact of the rope was more severe, there is still bare skin.

 tail is healed, but still very thin skin.
Her measurements:
May 11th: initial Weight 7 lbs
May 20th: Head length- 19cm, Body length-35 cm, Tail Length- 54cm . Total length 108 cm
June 14: weight 8.5 lbs
July 4th: weight between 8- 8,5 lbs( before or after food and pooping), body length-35cm, tail- 54 cm, total length is the same as before- 108 cm.
After July 15 we didn't measure her anymore, but did the skin scraping  for the areas that had hair loss. Test was negative.
July 20 stool test showed hookworm and strongyloides larvae both <1+.
I consulted vet from Columbia, who emphasized one more time that small amounts of parasites are natural in those animals and in that amount it doesn't need to be treated.
Aug 18- repeated stool test, no larva observed.