- What are the signs of rabies in wildlife?
- How do I determine if an animal died due to anthrax?
- What diseases are transmitted between wildlife, livestock and people?
- What are simple ways I can protect myself?
These were just a few of the questions addressed during a new game scout wildlife health training course developed by HALI and Ruaha National Park.
The 2-day course taught over 50 community game scouts, game officers, park rangers and park staff responsible for
protecting Ruaha’s wildlife how to recognize the signs of important diseases in animals, safely investigate disease events in wildlife, and understand how diseases are transmitted between wildlife, domestic animals and people.
Exercises and small group discussions were utilized so that everyone could ask questions and learn practical skills.
Rangers and scouts are the most likely people to first detect a wildlife disease event. Without basic training they may not recognize that a disease-related event is occurring, and could potentially be exposed to zoonotic diseases through butchering of game meat, or sampling suspect carcasses.
We are happy to report that the pilot-courses were successful and are grateful to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Without Borders Program for providing the funds to make these courses possible.
HALI and Ruaha team members will incorporate feedback from our first group of trainees for future courses and work towards developing a wildlife disease booklet that can be used by game scouts in the field.