GAME CAPTURE – SABLE ANTELOPE

Demographic Capture dosages Tranquillisation dosages
Adult Bulls 4 – 5mg of M9950 mg of Azaperone 18 mg of Haloperidol
Adult cows 3.5 – 4 mg of M9950 mg of Azaperone 15 mg of Haloperidol

 

Characteristics

Body weight: 180–270 kg.

Social behaviour: Breeding groups consist of 10–30 animals, with a territorial bull. The bachelor groups move through the area and young bulls will join the herd at the age of about two years

Habitat:   Open savannah with long grass and enough surface water.

Mating season:  May–July. A single calf is born after a gestation period of 224–240 days.

Calving season:  January–March.

General Remarks Relating to Capture

Sable are selective grazers of grass found in open woodland and do not compete well with other course grazers, such as zebra and wildebeest.

Successful sable reproduction from one year to the next requires an accurate management assessment of veld conditions. Where there is an overstocking problem on small game farms resulting in nutritional stress, sable are mostly affected. Cows calving under these conditions are unable to sustain their calves and they mostly die off, with the population remaining static.Sable, when cornered, by dogs for example, quickly go to bay and defend themselves from this position against almost anything, except a spear.

They therefore are easily poached in this way. This performance is often repeated in the crush by bulls, which then must be backed up using a push board. Extreme caution must be exercised, as sable are extremely quick and dangerous with their horns at this point.Sable are without question the gentlemen of wildlife species and are the easiest to deal with in all forms of capture, responding well to both mass capture with plastic and net bomas, and to individual darting. There are few mortalities if control is properly maintained.

They respond well to being driven by a helicopter and, provided that the wind is correct and the boma reasonably camouflaged, enter with little difficulty.Contrary to popular belief, unlike roan, sable do not horn and attack one another when confined, provided that the herd remains intact without mixing animals.Bulls from the same herd may be safely loaded together. Occasionally one individual, usually a cow, may be a little temperamental.

This is easily controlled with tranquillisers if the cow’s temperament is determined early enough. If in doubt, tranquillise all the animals. Sable, like roan, are sometimes terrible mothers, quickly abandoning their calves under duress.Compared with other species, sable are more sensitive to tranquillisers in general, which should be reduced in the darting cocktail. They generally go down well when darted, remaining in a sternal recumbent position. Often, with the combination of Azaperone in the dart cocktail and Haloperidol given before the animal is reversed, the sable takes longer to stand because of its sensitivity to tranquillisers.

Occasionally, when young animals go down quickly they are deeply under, witha consequent danger of severe respiratory depression indicated by a slow respiration rate. If this is less than six breaths a minute after ten minutes, they should be partially antidoted with Nalorphine or stimulated with Dopram.Note that the herd bull will attack young bulls as soon as they show signs of immobilisation.Sable crate well together, including calves at foot, and lie down soon after the vehicle starts to move, remaining settled throughout the journey.

They become too settled on long journeys, however, and should be encouraged to stand every now and then to improve their circulation. The longer the journey, the more difficult they may be to unload. Sable, like gemsbok, become reluctant to leave the security of the crate. This is probably part of their mechanism to defe