Update on Special’s snare injury

In early Oct, Special gripped a branch while climbing a tree, a sure sign that she is recovering dexterity in her fingers (photo: Andrew Bernard).

Special was the latest Kanyawara chimpanzee caught in an illegally set wire snare, which had tightly wrapped around her right wrist, causing a severe injury. Veterinarian David Hyeroba, who works with JGI-Uganda, removed Special’s snare in late July, assisted by the KCP team (see August 15 blog post).

We are happy to report that Special’s condition has steadily improved since her surgery. Special was observed again in mid-September, and by then, had regained some use of her injured right hand. She could not put weight on it while walking, but she was using her hand to scratch herself, an indication that she had recovered partial feeling in her fingers. She was also using her right hand for support while climbing trees.

Even more encouraging, when Special was seen in early October, she was observed gripping a branch with her right hand, showing partial dexterity in her fingers. We are hopeful that these improvements mean that Special may recover full or nearly full use of her hand, making her a very lucky chimpanzee and an intervention success story.

Only a shallow scar remains around Special’s healing right wrist, which was almost completely severed two months ago (photo: Andrew Bernard).

Most chimpanzees injured in snares will not be this fortunate, however, so it is imperative that KCP continues its efforts to remove snares set within the chimpanzee range.

-entry by Andrew Bernard

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