unlike the perception that some first worlders have about south africa, there are not wild animals walking the streets and there are not attacks every now and then by said animals (except for my cousin who was eaten by a crocodile. that is a bit too close to be discussed on my blog though). however i'm starting to have my doubts too.
quite soon after moving to the lowveld i treated a patient that was bitten by a hippo. let me assure you that that is no small bite. i think it is remarkable to survive something like that. then there were the two crocodile attacks. the one actually had a tooth embedded in the arm. it seems that crocodiles often loose teeth. to them it doesn't matter because they can replace their teeth right through their lives.
but it seems recently we are working through the big five.
i didn't treat the guy who was mauled by a leopard. i didn't even actually go and see him. he survived because the leopard itself was terminally ill and wasn't in good fighting form.
the guy who was attacked by a lion survived because he managed to get a shot off before the lion got to him. the shot apparently took out its top jaw. the lion could therefore not bite but still shredded him quite badly with its claws. i'm a bit embarrassed to say i turfed him off to the orthopod once i discovered his injuries were all to the arm muscles.
around the time of the lion patient i heard from a friend of mine in the kruger that he had a contact with a Buffalo. luckily the beast had been darted and was pretty nearly asleep already when it knocked him down. otherwise he probably wouldn't have been around to tell me about it.
then came the elephant attack. i can only assume the elephant's heart was not in his actions. otherwise how do you survive an elephant attack? but even not fully devoted to the task at hand, the pachyderm still managed to inflict severe wounds to my patient.
we haven't quite yet covered all of the big five, so there is a part of me expecting a rhino attack sometime in the next few weeks.