Veterinarians are used to dealing with sick animals. In fact, the vast majority of their daily routines usually involves patching up dogs and cleaning out kitty ears. There isn’t a lot that shocks them, really.
Even wild animals like wolves, bears, and eagles sometimes need a doctor’s care before they can return to the wild. And though they’re not typical patients, seasoned veterinarians have no problem treating them. After all, a sick animal is a sick animal.
Still, one Israeli veterinary team sure got the shock of a lifetime when a parks department official knocked on their door and left a rather unusual—and dangerous—wounded animal in their care. They were nervous, but they knew they had to do the right thing…
During a routine patrol, Israeli soldiers noticed a rather unusual sight: two people walking a striped hyena. They didn’t approach the pair right away. After all, hyenas are dangerous wild creatures. But they realized that something seemed… off… with the animal, and so they decided to intervene.
As they approached the pair, the officers immediately knew something wasn’t quite right with the hyena. Once they were close enough to really inspect the scene, they learned that the animal—which is considered endangered—was being held in metal chains under harsh conditions. It was clearly suffering.
The abuse did not stop with the chains, either. Upon closer examination they discovered that the poor striped hyena was starving and dehydrated. He did not even have the strength to resist their ministrations.
The soldiers alerted the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, which quickly dispatched a veterinarian to the scene. The vet managed to stabilize the hyena’s condition, but there was only so much that could be done on-site.
The hyena was quickly sedated so that he would be comfortable and his stress levels could be kept to a minimum. It would also make him easier to work with. Once sedated, he was transferred to an animal hospital where he could receive urgent care.
The veterinarians continued trying to stabilize the poor hyena’s condition as they ran multiple tests to uncover the full scope of his injuries. While they could identify all of the external injuries from a quick examination, they had no idea what was happening inside the poor creature.
Soon, though, they would learn what was wrong. The vets discovered numerous bruises all over the hyena’s body. They had no concrete evidence how the bruises were caused, but they suspected that the hyena had been beaten and abused by whoever captured him.
The bruises were far from the hyena’s only injuries. He had suffered several broken teeth as well. Some of his teeth were even split right down to the root. He must have been in excruciating pain every second of every day!
The restraints used by his abusers had made it impossible for the hyena to protect his eyes from dust and debris. Sometime during his time in cruel captivity, grit or another foreign object made its way into his eye, cutting it and causing it to become infected.
Finally, the rest of the hyena’s test results were back. The X-rays showed extensive broken bones throughout the creature’s body. He had very clearly been badly beaten, either during his capture or during his time in captivity.
The worst of his injuries was a badly broken front leg and paw. The veterinarian treating the hyena said that the break looked as though he had gotten his paw caught in a massive trap; if this was true, it would make sense, seeing as that’s mostly likely the easiest way his captors would’ve been able to apprehend him.
The hyena was badly dehydrated, and if he was going to stand any chance of getting well, that would need to change! The team working at the animal hospital quickly provided him with food and water through an IV. They also showed him some affection through reassuring pats and head scratches to keep him calm.
Although the team was initially concerned that their new charge would not pull through, this hyena was determined not to go anywhere! It was clear that he was a survivor and a fighter, and he had the spirit necessary to power through even this.
The vets named him Amos, and before long, he was one of their favorite animals. He might not have been as tame or as friendly as some of their other patients, but he won them over with his dignity and resilience.
The team worked quickly to treat Amos’s injuries to the best of their ability while he was still under anesthesia. They couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by what a gorgeous specimen this remarkable hyena was. He truly was special!
Thankfully, Amos survived the surgery and the setting of his broken paw. However, he still had a long way to go. When he awoke to see his new surroundings, Amos was still in shock, and he refused to eat any food for the next few days.
However, before too long, Amos was regularly eating his meals and drinking his water with a renewed sense of both vigor and appetite. It was clear that this hyena was healing and that he would be able to return home very soon!
The team wanted to make sure that, before they released Amos into the wild, his injuries were all completely healed. They were utterly determined to give him a fighting chance once he was back at home in the wild.
After multiple treatments that spanned for more than a month, Amos was finally ready to be released back into the wild. Looking at the photograph below, it’s almost impossible to believe that this was the same wounded hyena as before!
It was important to remember that, although Amos was a sweetheart, he was also still very much a wild animal. That meant that in order to prepare him for release, his veterinarians were going to need to sedate him in order to make the transition smooth, seamless, and stress-free for all parties involved.
Once they were sure that Amos was fully sedated, the veterinarians entered his cage to give him a final physical examination. They were confident that it was time to let him go, but they had some housekeeping to do first!
First, they laid the sleepy hyena on the office’s scale so that they could get a record of Amos’s weight for their files. This was all part of their plan to make sure nothing bad ever happened to the hyena again!
The next part of their plan involved outfitting Amos with a collar that would act as a radio transmitter. A collar might seem bulky, but it’s much more effective—and less invasive—than if they were to use a microchip.
The collar would be used to track his location once released, just in case something went wrong. If they feared something has happened to Amos, the collar will make it easier for the team to find him and help him in the future.
With the collar in place, all that was left to do was to transport Amos back to his home. The veterinary team were going to miss having this little bit of the wild living with them, but they all knew it was time for him to go it alone!
After a long drive, the team finally arrived at their designated release location. They removed Amos’s cage from the truck and set in on the ground. The cage door was opened… but Amos initially refused to leave!
It took a little convincing, but eventually, he started running off. He seemed hesitant, but he was also curious, and he eagerly sniffed the terrain. Then, he began to make his way off into the night once and for all.
But then something special happened: when he was well on his way and the team was sure he was going to leave without an issue, Amos suddenly stopped. What happened? Why was Amos frozen and staring back instead of running free?
He had turned around and looked back at his rescuers, as if to thank them. It’s impossible to know what was running through his mind—he’s a hyena after all!—but at the same time, the whole team couldn’t help but feel his gratitude.
Then, just as quickly as he had come into their lives, Amos was gone. While the team was sad to see him go, they were happy knowing from the signal on his radio collar that he was alive and well—and most active at night!
Thank goodness the vets were able to get Amos patched up and healthy enough to be released so quickly. That hyena will never forget them!
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