A note as I re-emerge from 10 days in the Bale Mountains, supporting our team in the remote Chafadalacha swamps on the edge of the Sanetti Plateau. We camped at nearly 13,000 feet (a small settlement of 20 people and 17 tents). We workedroudn the clock to capture Ethiopian wolves, the final step in a pilot of a vaccine for Canine Distemper Virus (CDV).
Our aim was to trap wolves that had been vaccinated a few months earlier, in order to measure their immunological response. The blood samples will be tested in the UK in the coming weeks. If we prove that the vaccine deliveres protetcion against CDV, then we will be ready to respond to future emergencies. CDV epizootics have been responsible for many wolf deaths in the past 10 years.
The weather was harsh, and the work challenging, but the dedication and high spirits of my team never cease to amaze me.