Blue duiker bucks nature with garden visit
Is it a goat? No, it is a juvenile blue duiker.
Jonty Boxongo, 23, arrived at his Zwide home on Tuesday afternoon to find what appeared to be a baby goat in the garden.
He immediately called his sister to tell her about the strange creature that was huddled in a corner.
His sister, Samantha Silwana, also 23, said her brother was frightened when he called her at work, asking that she call a security company for assistance with the animal.
“He tried to describe it to me,” she said.
“I had no idea what animal it was but from his description it sounded like a springbok.
“I then searched online for animal welfare organisations and called various places.
“I eventually got through to the tourism department, which gave me the number for Arnold Slabbert at Wildline.
“We had also set off the alarm for [security company] ADT to respond and assist my brother as he was in a serious panic because the animal was bleeding.”
Silwana said she was amazed that a wild animal could wander so far into an urban area and she was very sad to not have seen it herself.
“My brother was too scared to go close and take a proper picture, but I searched the internet to find out more about what it could be,” she said.
Slabbert, the founder and chair of Wildline, said the buck was in fact a nine-month-old blue duiker, SA’s second-smallest indigenous antelope.
He said he was very surprised to find it unharmed.
“In the middle of Zwide is not the place you would expect to find wildlife,” he said.
“There are so many dogs roaming around and people who like hunting in that area.
“The buck was in perfect condition.
“It had a few bruises from trying to squeeze through somewhere, but no life-threatening injuries or broken bones.
“It shows how wildlife is capable of adapting and living around humans.
“To catch a blue duiker, which is a threatened species, in the middle of a massive township like that – it’s almost unbelievable.”
Slabbert said the buck could have come from anywhere in the Perseverance area along the Swartkops River.
“The important thing about the blue duiker is that it is a species that falls under Tops [the Threatened or Protected Species regulations].
“Nobody may catch or move them without special permits and they may not be kept in captivity.”
He said that over the past few years there had been an in- crease in illegal trading of blue duiker, Cape grysbok and steenbok.
After the necessary checks with a vet, the buck was released in the Sardinia Bay coastal bush.
GONE ROAMING: The young blue duiker found in Zwide