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. Dr Salb is the only wildlife veterinarian in Malawi capable of wildlife capture, meaning her services are greatly in demand.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Donations are always very welcome! An average rescue costs $50 and we can also do gift certificates. Due to the nature of the work, we are unable to accept volunteers onto this programme. However our vet externship programme and intensive veterinary course is run by WERU’s director, Dr Salb, and are both excellent learning opportunities for anyone wishing to enter the field of wildlife veterinary medicine.
We are mandated to operate on behalf of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, and also provide veterinary support to African Parks. Read more about the invaluable support of our sponsors, the Born Free Foundation and the Olsen Animal Trust, here.