I darted this lion and lioness in the early hours of this morning.... I have to say that I'm extremely pleased: the
X-Caliber is a brilliant, simple-to-use, robust, accurate and well-designed piece of equipment!
Jeremy works on a number of large predator conservation studies in South Africa. He is currently involved with separate studies of lions, leopards, hyenas, wild dogs and cheetahs.
In a recent study, he used the X-Caliber to dart two lions as part of a research program at a private wildlife conservancy near Kruger National Park. The study was designed to assess the spatial distribution and dietary preferences of lions in the conservancy, and also to assess how lion densities influence those of other predators, such as leopards and wild dogs.
The female had been fitted with a GPS/GSM collar for over a year; however, the battery needed to be replaced and also the collar needed to be loosened, as she had put on a good amount of condition over that period. The male was darted not only to assess his overall health condition, but also as a safety precaution while the work was conducted on the lioness.
Both animals were anaesthetized at night using a combination of ketamine and medetomidine in a 10 cc dart with stabilizer and gel collar at a range of 15 meters. The lions were attracted to a "call-up" site by using dead impala bait and various prey species' distress calls played over a loudspeaker.