by Melissa Guzman
What a day! We spent the day in the field – that is, down the way and behind our Sariska Palace Hotel where we could spread out to complete a secure necropsy on a recently discovered carcass from within the Sariska Tiger Reserve (STR). You know us veterinarians, we were all super excited to put into practice what we’d been learning in lectures.
The backdrop to today’s activities was our lectures on Disease Outbreak Investigation, as well as using a real scenario of a disease outbreak in an endangered species to imagine a potentially similar type of outbreak in the STR – the 2015 mass die-off of saiga antelopes in the Republic of Kazakhstan, located in Central Asia – and translating it into a field situation within the STR.
We had already formed teams to discuss and plan things like, “What would be out response to an outbreak here in STR over the first few hours, and in the first several days?” “How would we organize an investigation, what resources would we need, what kinds of information would we need to make decisions, and how would we get that information?” Then we set it all into action, as if it was really happening; what fun!
Once the biology/habitat team, the necropsy/sample collection team, etc. all finished our tasks, we debriefed to figure out what we did and did not do well. This was a really great way to share ideas about how to handle a path exam in an outbreak setting – lots of great ideas, and lots of team work; it was a good time! I think you’ll love it too!