It was a spectacle in Valhalla, Pretoria, this morning after a scared and injured sable antelope was chased through the streets after it escaped from Groenkloof nature reserve.
The antelope made its 7km trek from the reserve to Valhalla, where it was hit by a car just before 6am. The animal was then spotted by an SA National Defence Force (SANDF) flight sergeant, who managed to corner it on a property before calling for help, the Rekord East reported.
Police officers, SANDF members, security members and the Wierdabrug sector 1 community policing forum responded and managed to call Dr Angela Brüns from the Pretoria Zoo to help. Brüns darted the sable with a potent opiate before it ran off into an open field. Five minutes later, the scared sable finally gave in to the drugs and passed out.
“He gave us a bit of a runaround, but luckily the streets had been cordoned off before and people knew we were going to dart him,” she said.
Brüns and Tshwane nature conservationists Philip de Beer and Alexander Heunis held the sable down and administered a final dose of tranquilisers. A convoy of police, SANDF members, nature conservationists and zoo staff escorted the animal back to the reserve, where it was released into a temporary enclosure.
The most dangerous part of the antelope’s recapture was the risk of it running off and being injured further after being darted, Brüns said.
She added that the sable’s injuries did not appear to be serious and it should make a full recovery. It is still unclear how the rare animal managed to escape from the reserve.
– Caxton News Service