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Katse Village Community Vaccination Clinic
On Sunday, 29 January 2023, at 6am, with the sun just peeking over the Lesotho Highland mountains, the teams from Sanlei Trout Farm and Aquavet Africa set up for the free vaccination clinic for dogs in Katse Village.
Two vaccination stations were prepared, staffed by Dr Brandon and Sr Theanette respectively, as well as staff members from Sanlei to assist with administration.
Jennifer and Grace from Sanlei proved invaluable in organising and interpreting, making sure everything ran smoothly.
Soon a crowd began to gather and were organised into two lines.
A young boy arrived with music and amidst this festive atmosphere, things got off to a good start. Each dog received a quick health check, was photographed for our records, and was then vaccinated against Rabies, Distemper, Hepatitis/Adenovirus-2, Parvovirus and Parainfluenza virus. Each dog received a vaccination certificate and records were kept of each vaccination.
One hundred dogs were vaccinated in three hours, with names like Covid, Gauteng, WhatsApp, Facebook, Cool-down, Man-Power, Cheese and Angle.
We were all impressed at how well the dogs were handled and controlled by their owners and everything happened in a calm, orderly fashion. Although it is easy to look at a vaccination event like this as just a good community initiative, it is important to remember that it is so much more than that. Dogs remain the main source of human rabies deaths, contributing up to 99% of all rabies transmissions to humans. Prevention and control remain key factors. According to the Farmers Weekly of 10 February 2023, the One Health initiative to end human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030 considers multi-sectorial engagement and approaches, including community education, awareness programmes, and vaccination campaigns such as this one, as critical. Thank you to MSD for sponsoring 50 doses of the DAPPV vaccines.
And thank you to Jennifer and Grace for making this day run smoothly and taking care of the details.
Fascinating Facts about Common Eagle Rays: From Birth to Ocean Conservation
Stingrays are ovoviviparous, meaning that the eggs hatch inside the mother’s body and are fed with fluid and egg yolks until they are ready to be born.
Common Eagle Rays (Myliobatis aquila) give birth to 4-7 live young after a gestation period of 1 year. From the time the pups are born, they are 100% capable of fending for themselves in the wild.
Born at @2oceansaquarium , these eagle ray pups were roughly the size of 2 small human hands. As critically endangered species, they will eventually be released back into the ocean, where it is hoped they will live to reach their 20 year maximum lifespan and have many babies of their own.
Dark Shysharks: The Enigmatic and Fascinating Ocean Dwellers of Namibia and South Africa
Dark shysharks (Haploblepharus pictus), also known as “Pretty happy’s,” are endemic to Namibia and western South Africa.
Ever wondered what those weird brown capsules are that you find scattered on the beach? Although often referred to as mermaids purses, they are in fact shark/skate eggs.
Female dark shysharks produce 2 eggs at a time and these eggs can take 6-10 months to hatch. A newborn shark pup is tiny, measuring no more than 10-12cm.
Like most shark species, dark shysharks take a long time to reach sexual maturity, maturing at 15 years. They can reach a maximum size of 60cm and live for approximately 25 years.
A newly hatched dark shyshark pup is about the size of a small finger. Tiny as they may be, they receive no parental care or help from mom and dad. From the moment they leave their egg, they are on their own in the big blue ocean.
Equipped with super powered sharky senses and incredible instincts, these little sharks know exactly what to do, where to hide and how to hunt from the day they are born.
Why are they called shysharks? When they feel threatened, they curl up into a little donut with their tail fins covering their eyes. So cute, so special and so important to our local kelp forest environment.
Meet Val: The Tiny Ragged-Tooth Shark and Her Fascinating Feeding Behaviour
This is Val, the smallest ragged-tooth shark in the @saveourseasfoundation Shark Exhibit at @2oceansaquarium
Here, Val perfectly demonstrates how ragged-tooth sharks extend and retract their jaws to swallow their food whole
MPAs: Safeguarding South Africa's Ocean Ecosystems
MPAs (Marine Protected Areas) help safeguard regions of the ocean, protecting marine ecosystems and biodiversity.
South Africa has 42 marine protected areas, covering 5% (57736km2) of it’s waters.
With 3 oceans and a variety of habitats surrounding South Africa, our waters are rich in marine life and biodiversity.
261 endemic fish species and 16% of the world's shark, skate and ray species, many of which are threatened, are found here.
37% of South African seabirds and 80% sea turtle species are threatened.
Overfishing, climate change, plastic pollution, coastal developments and marine mining play a role in the decline of marine species.
The ocean is a source of sustainable employment, food security, inspiration, education and relaxation. MPAs are the insurance policy for healthy oceans and ocean economies, and the investment in our future well-being.
Osteoarthritis in Aquatic Mammals: A Study on Joint Health in Marine Species
Osteoarthritis is one of the most common non-inflammatory joint diseases in many terrestrial mammal species, particularly humans, dogs and cats. But what about aquatic species? Does the weightlessness of their water environment provide them with a medium that conserves wear and tear of their joints?
A study by K. Nganvongpanit and collegues, assessed skeletal remains of dolphins and dugongs for indications of degredation of articular cartilage, to determine the prevalence of osteoarthritis in marine mammals.
The study found that osteoarthritis can occur in marine mammals, however the severity thereof is reduced, due to the properties of water facilitating joint support, and removing the stress associated with consistent weight-bearing.
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