When wildlife parks and nature reserves were first established in Southern Africa, scientists did not have the understanding of ecology which we have today. Park boundaries were drawn without consideration of the natural migration patterns or habitat needs of the animals enclosed within them. This created a myriad of ecological problems for conservation. These days, park management has become an advanced science. Wildlife game capture is one tool used to rectify the problems created by the unnatural boundaries of the parks.
Although wildlife capture has seen tremendous advances over the last forty years, the roots go back as far as 3000 years ago. In Norway, there are scenes of reindeer capture etched into rock by ancient man. During Roman times, primitive capture methods were used to stock the ‘Circus Maximus’ with lions and other big game.
In the more recent past (the 1930’s), the nets were used to capture antelope for translocation. The advent of portable electric lights allowed spotlighting at night to become an effective means of catching game in the 1950’s. By far, the greatest breakthrough for wildlife capture came in the 1960’s with the development of powerful immobilization drugs. These new drugs allowed animals to be darted and handled while tranquillized, with minimal stress and injuries, making capture safer for both animals and people.
South Africa has been and continues to be one of the world leaders in developing and refining contemporary capture methods. Today, scientific research is used to improve capture techniques, including testing newer drugs and safer equipment. The capture professionals we work with are experts in wildlife capture and pioneered modern-day conservation methods.