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Morkel, P., 1994. Chemical immobilization of the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis): pp. 128-135

In: Penzhorn, B.L. et al. Proceedings of a symposium on rhinos as game ranch animals. Onderstepoort, Republic of South Africa, 9-10 September 1994: pp. i-iv, 1-242

Location: World
Subject: Translocation - Immobilization
Species: All Rhino Species

Original text on this topic:
History of anesthezia. Chemical immobilization is an essential tool for the management of this endangered species, especially for translocation, treatment of injuries, marking and dehorning. Until the early 1960's black rhino were still physically caught with ropes from a pursuing vehicle. Chemical capture was first attempted with the dissociative anaesthetic, phencyclidine, and the curariform muscle relaxant, gailamine triethiodide. In 1960, during Operation Noah, many black rhino were saved from the rising waters of the newly built Lake Kariba, between Zambia and Zimbabwe, with these new chemical capture techniques. Phencyclidine and gailamine were succeeded by the opioids which were considerably safer and easily reversed. The opioids Themalon (diethyithiambutene) and morphine were used initially but were soon replaced by the considerably more powerful drugs; etorphine (M99), fentanyil and carfentanil.

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