What happened to Scar Face?...The progression of his injury...If only love can help...


Scar Face's right eye is above the injury but may have been affected.
"Sighting of the Day in the Bush"
Last night's partial moon.
We have no delusions about life and death in the wild.  It's all a part of nature.  Wild animals kill for food and seeing this occur while on safari the first few times is a heart wrenching experience for many.  We were no exception.
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In time we came to accept the "pecking order" realizing that if one cares to embrace the bush, revels in the wild and participate in photo safaris, seeing these events is inevitable at one point or another.  

In actuality, witnessing such an event, although harsh, can be a life-changing experience as we mature and grow in our vast appreciation of the animal kingdom worldwide.
He stops by several times each day and we always feed him generously.  He needs food to help him heal.
In Marloth Park, there are few predators that hunt and kill the wildlife located within the park.  On occasion, there's a sighting of a lion, a cheetah, wild dogs or hyenas.  It's not unheard of for residents to occasionally spot a carcass in the park, left behind for the vultures next meal.

In the day to day existence living in the park, primarily it's a happy place, filled with loving kudus, skittish duikers, gentle bushbucks and determined zebras, clomping through the bush with heavy hooves. easily alerting us to their arrival.
At the beginning of his injury, each day it looked worse than the prior day.  We were very worried.  He was so busy eating, we had a hard time taking photos.
Of course, there are dozens of other species we see weekly including the "small and smaller things" such as insects, lizards, mongoose, rodents, birds, rats, snakes and many more.  

As a result, we seldom have seen injuries and/or death of wild animals in Marloth Park.  Like I said, "it's a happy place" for both grownups and children who can learn so much in this magical environment.
We were fearful of reporting his injury to the rangers.  See the reasons in the text.
But, when several weeks ago, a special warthog stopped by to see us, we were shocked by what we saw, the right side of his face had obviously been severely stabbed by either the antler of a large antelope such as a male kudu or wildebeest, during an altercation with another warthog or as he ran into a protruding branch of a tree when he was on the run.

We've seen how fast warthogs can run, upwards of 48 kilometers (30 miles) per hour.  We've also seen them dash through the yard at such high speeds when they become frightened, making it entirely possible for Scar Face to have run into a protruding branch.
At times, he was covered in mud.  Was that his way of attempting to heal the injury?
We'll never know what happened to him to cause this horrific injury.  All we know is we didn't want to report his injury to the Rangers, who when they'd see such a devastating injury may have decided euthanasia was the way to go. We had hope.  We didn't report it.
At times, his good friend Mutton Chops come to visit with Scar Face.  They get along well when sharing the pellets.  (Previously posted photo).
If at any time, we'd seen him failing, unable to eat, lying in the yard and in great distress, of course, we'd have had no choice but to report it.  When he's showed up in our yard several times a day looking for some quick and easy nourishment, we anticipated we'd made the right decision to "wait and watch."  

Certain animals in Marloth Park, when injured or ill will be treated by volunteer medical professionals after which they'll be returned to the wild.  Recently, a bushbuck's leg was caught in a scare and had become infected.  The injured bushbuck was darted, treated and released.  
Was it actually improving a little, we wondered?
Unfortunately, warthogs, who multiple prolifically and are quite sturdy don't fall into a category of a species that the Rangers and medical professionals feel are "worthy" of being treated.  Many warthogs are culled each year. Many are left to fend for themselves when illness or injury strikes or are euthanized if they can be found.

As the days passed, Scar Face began to look better and better.  Some days, his face was covered in thick mud which he must have been using to heal the serious wound.  Animals are amazing and many are intelligent enough to care for themselves and for one another using available resources in the wild.
It has been heartbreaking thinking he's been in pain.
He's come to visit every single day eating a massive number of pellets, apples and other vegetables and frequently drank from the cement pond in the yard.  He'd scratch his face on a tree.  There's no doubt that as the wound began to heal, it became itchy.  

Danie told us that warthogs like to eat bones.  We cooked meats and saved all the bones for him.  He especially loves the bones, easily chewing them.  Warthogs are omnivores and not only graze on grasses, roots, and tubers but will eat dead animals encountered in the wild, although they won't hunt for meat.
Now, the injury appears to be drying up and he seems more animated but extremely cautious around other animals other than a few friendly warthogs, like Mutton Chops and Little Wart Face (as opposed to big Wart Face who's very grumpy).
Each time he stands in the dirt near the veranda staring at us, asking "What's to eat today?'  We can't help it as we both jump to our feet, scurry around gathering foods for him.  We stand on the edge of the veranda tossing food to him which he enthusiastically devours.

Now, as we see him looking so much better, we can only hope he'll remain on the road to recovery.  No doubt, he'll continue to return as we carefully and hopefully watch his recovery progress.  We're thrilled, to say the least.
Then suddenly, two days ago, he started looking better with less oozing.
Tonight, friends Kathy and Don are coming for dinner.  With all the socializing we'd done with them four years ago and also since our return to the park, this will be the first time it will be just the four of us. We plan on an enjoyable evening.  

Tomorrow, at 4:00 pm, Okey Dokey, our dear friend and former driver in Marloth Park in 2013/2014 is coming with her husband and baby, whom we've yet to meet, for happy-hour along with Louise and Danie. We've stayed in touch all these years and are excited to see her and her family.  It will be a great weekend, for sure.

May your "May Day" weekend be busy with those whose company you especially enjoy!
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Photo from one year ago today, April 29, 2017:
A tiny rowboat at the ready in the Isle of Pines in the South Pacific.  For more photos, please click here.

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