GAME CAPTURE – GEMSBOK

Demographic Capture dosages Tranquillisation dosages
Adult Bulls 4-5 mg of M9950- 60 mg of Azaperone

18-20 mg of Haloperidol + 100 mg of Trilafon

Adult cows 3-4 mg of M9950-60 mg of Azaperone

15-18 mg of Haloperidol +100 mg of Trilafon

Characteristics

Body weight:Bulls 240 kg and cows 210 kg.

Social behaviour:Breeding herds are small, from ten animals to loose aggregations of up to thirty animals.

Habitat:  Open arid woodland to desert conditions.

Mating season:  The whole year.

Calving season:August–September.

General Remarks Relating to Capture

Gemsbok respond well to a helicopter, provided they are driven gently. Occasionally, animals may split off during the drive, especially bulls.

Gemsbok are strongly herd orientated and can be aggressive when cornered, often backing into a bush and defending themselves from that position.Gemsbok are best captured using a plastic boma. One or two individuals can be caught in a net boma if the situation presents itself and the crew is competent.

However, it can be extremely dangerous, as the animals are large and will quickly confront rather than going into the net.Gemsbok are not easily approached by vehicles for darting and are best dartedfrom the air, using an Etorphine/Azaperone cocktail.Gemsbok are perhaps more aggressive towards one another once they become cramped.

They must be piped and tranquillised on capture, unlike sable that do not horn each other provided they belong to the same herd. These pipes must be removed when the animals are finally released into the veld.Captured gemsbok should be crated directly from the crush, partitioned and piped.

There is a small window of opportunity while the animals are still confused to pipe the horns, while simultaneously tranquillising them with Haloperidol before they begin to horn one another. Trilafon, where required, can be given later after the Haloperidol has taken effect.Release pens should be as large as possible to prevent chronic stress over long periods.

Like sable, gemsbok can also be difficult to unload from a bulk crate, particularly when transported over a long distance. They may be reluctant to the comparative safety of the crate.