GAME CAPTURE – KUDU

Demographic Capture dosages Tranquillisation dosages
Adult Bulls 6-7 mg of M9940 mg of Xylazine and50 mg of Azaperone

20 mg of Haloperidol + 100 mg of Trilafon

Adult cows 4.5 mg of M9960 mg of Azaperone

18 mg of Haloperidol + 100 mg of Trilafon

Yearlings 3-4 mg of M99 and50 mg of Azaperone

12 mg of Haloperidol + 100 mg of Trilafon

 

Characteristics

Body weight: Bulls weigh 250 kg and cows 180 kg.

Social behaviour: Gregarious herds averaging 3–10 individuals usually consist of cows and their young, and may be accompanied by an adult bull. Bulls may be solitary or form temporary bachelor herds.

Habitat:   Woodland savannah associations, extending into more arid areas with enough thickets to provide shelter and food.

Mating season:  The mating season peaks in autumn.

Calving season: Throughout the year, peaking in the rainy season. The gestation period is 270 days.

General Remarks Relating to Capture

Kudu are excitable, nervous animals that stress very easily. When captured and under pressure, they will quickly challenge the plastic sheeting. Captured animals must be brought under control immediately. Failure to do so quickly results in them running around, leading to capture myopathy. For this reason, kudu should be tranquillised immediately upon capture.

Under direction from a helicopter kudu are not easy to drive, attempting to go from thicket to thicket where they try and hide, particularly when tired. They are therefore best driven slowly from a distance. Kudu behave similarly to waterbuck when driven, as they are not herd orientated like other species.

They will split and join with each other during the drive. Moreover, kudu always run in the direction they are facing when suddenly frightened, hence the danger to cars and problems when pushing them through the boma.Obviously, more attention is required for the siting and erection of the plastic boma. It is built in the same format as for eland, with high sides all the way up to the ramp.

Crate choice is important and should be closed in, not slatted, so that the animals cannot see out. Kudu must be loaded directly through the boma on mass capture and not be stopped in the crush. Bulls should never be mixed under any circumstances, as they immediately fight. Kudu should also not be left in crates in the morning, when they will jump for the fanlights as dawn approaches, as will waterbuck.

Kudu display a marked excitement phase soon after opioid induction. Heavy doses of M99 with Xylazine and Azaperone are therefore suggested to get them down quickly. Never use a narcotic only; always use with a muscle relaxant for these animals. As with eland, A3080 may come to be the drug of choice.

When darting, the difficulties associated with kudu are much the same as for eland, in that the animal is likely to run off with the onset of the excitement phase.It may go down awkwardly and may not be easily found. The use of horses or a transmitter dart to locate the darted animal more easily is therefore advisable.Kudu are attracted to a game area and most often stock themselves. Game parks, particularly small ones, should be fenced no higher than 2 m to provide an escape valve, so that kudu, particularly bulls, can jump both in and out, depending on the availability of food.

Being pure browsers, it is unlikely under Highveld conditions in small game parks that there would be enough food to sustain kudu the whole year round. They need to be able to obtain food elsewhere.Kudu tame well if fed close to the house.

Nevertheless, never trust the bulls even though they may be approached normally.To reiterate, kudu are extremely nervous and will quickly succumb to stress if capture is not under control. Provided the capture goes smoothly and the animals proceed directly into the crates, there is no reason for less than 100% success.