Category Archives: Research

The Vulture Restaurant at HESC

Following on International Vulture Awareness Day last week, read more about how we contribute to the conservation of the species. Visitors have a treat in store when they visit the Vulture Restaurant on our premises. Feeding frenzy at Vulture Restaurant The vultures and other birds that were seen at our Vulture Restaurant are not kept in captivity and come and go as they please. The restaurant may be a little…
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Honours student, Bruce Crossey, conducts research on wild dogs at HESC

We recently hosted Bruce Crossey, an Honours student from the University of Pretoria, who was here to do some research on the stress levels of wild dogs in captivity and how it plays a role on their overall health and behavior. Bruce worked closely with our curator, Natasha, to collect samples of the wild dog fecal matter. This will be used to test the level of glucocorticoid steroid (stress) hormones. Prolonged…
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The survival and genetic diversity of the cheetah

The Cheetah is classified as vulnerable in the IUCN red list . This is due to different factors, but most importantly the poor genetic diversity in the species. Many researchers believe this came about 10 000 years ago when extreme climatic changes drove many animal species to extinction. The cheetah species that survived this period (now known as Acinonyx jubatus) found itself in a genetic bottleneck with only a few…
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HESC participates in the Kruger-to-Canyons (K2C) Hooded Vulture Project 

The Hooded Vulture is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN red list. There has been evidence suggesting that the population is declining due to factors such as indiscriminate poisoning, trade for traditional medicine, hunting, persecution and electrocution, as well as habitat loss and degradation. Vultures play an important role in the eco-system. They clean up the environment by consuming animal carcasses, thereby reducing the spread of diseases. The Kruger-to-Canyons (K2C)…
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Wildlife Pharmaceuticals conducts more research, this time on the leopard

In February 2016, Dr Cobus Raath and his team from Wildlife Pharmaceuticals visited HESC to conduct research aimed at better understanding the anaesthesia of cheetahs by using a combination drug known as BAM (Butorphanol / Azaperone / Medetomidine). A week ago Wildlife Pharmaceuticals returned to the centre to conduct further research, but this time their focus was on the leopard species. The research followed the same process as the previous procedures…
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