By Jorgelina Marino
The news reached us swiftly thanks to EWCP’s early alert system, with the involvement of our local Wolf Ambassadors: several dead Ethiopian wolves had appeared in Delanta, a small Ethiopian wolf enclave in the Wollo Highlands. After a swiftly arranged field trip, and lab confirmation of rabies in some of the brain samples collected, an emergency response to vaccinate the few remaining wolves unleashed. As we speak, an EWCP team led by Eric Bedin is fighting to contain the disease. Over the past week they captured and vaccinated a young female wolf and one adult male. These two vaccinated wolves might hold the key for the persistence of the Delanta population.
It is with mixed feelings that we report this news. We are proud of our readiness to monitor and react to threats, but also sad to witness how the accumulation of threats is bringing the Delanta wolves a few steps closer to extinction…. Recent losses of important wolf habitat had reduced the Delanta population to fewer than 15 wolves. We will keep you and the Ethiopian authorities informed of how the intervention pans out. Together we can bring about a sustainable solution for the long-term survival of wolves in the remote and beautiful Delanta range.
Photos: Delanta campsite, team eating local yogurt, and a wolf running away after the vaccination (by E Bedin and F Lema).