It was the mounting reports of wildlife injured by poachers that set the Wildlife Emergency Response Unit (WERU) in motion. Elephants and rhinos were being targeted for their tusks and horns and snaring in and around protected areas was on the rise. In one national park 3,500 snares were cleared over a period of just three months. With such limited resources available, the best outcome for critically injured wild animals was to fly experts in – but these hopes were often dashed by cost and availability.
WERU was set up in 2014 to provide in field veterinary related support for wildlife emergencies and conservation projects across the entire country. A joint venture between Lilongwe Wildlife Trust (LWT) and the Department of National Parks & Wildlife (DNPW), WERU aims to:
- Treat injured wildlife
- Relocate animals in conflict with communities
- Provide veterinary support to projects that monitor & protect wildlife at risk
The fully licensed mobile veterinary unit provides fast response in-situ treatment for wild animals in distress. Led by DNPW Veterinarian, Dr Amanda Salb, it is equipped with all required drugs and firearms to immobilise and treat small and large wild animals.