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Author Topic: What injuries are fatal for wild animals?  (Read 5995 times)

Offline Barry Buternowsky

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What injuries are fatal for wild animals?
« on: 30/11/2009 11:30:03 »
Barry Buternowsky  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hi Chris,

Hello from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 

Your show is fantastic. I've been listening to newbielink:http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/podcasts/ [nonactive] in my car during my 20 minute commute to work. I'm always amazed at the breadth of knowledge that each of you have.

You have a wonderful team (Dave, Ben, Kat, Hellen, Diana). Everyone is very entertaining and informative to listen to. I've done several newbielink:http://www.thenakedscientists.com/kitchenscience [nonactive] with my two young daughters. When I tell them that we are going to do an experiment, they always say: Yah, yah, yah!!! Can we do it now?!


I have a question on Wildlife Health.

People go to the doctor all the time. The issues are sometimes small, and at times, very major. Wild animals don't have doctors and hospitals. When they get hurt, they must deal with it themselves. I am wondering what kind of issues (disease, accidents, etc) would pose as a death sentence for animals?

For example, some animals such as predators like tigers, wolves, etc can be exposed to very difficult terrain. Would a sprained/broken paw from landing the wrong way on rough terrain essentially kill the animal. How would it get food until it is well enough to hunt again. Do animals in packs fair better than solitary animals because the pack will care for the wounded animal? People can get broken bones set properly, but animals cannot. Therefore only simple fractures would heal properly in wild animals. Or, could it be that wild animals are much tougher, and therefore only catastrophic events will hurt them; whereas humans are soft, and any little thing will result in a sore foot. (For example, I went running on an unpaved path and the next day one of my ankles was very sore.) Or perhaps, animals have a much higher pain threshold, and hunger will force them to behave as if they are not hurt.

It would be interesting to hear your views. 

take care,
Barry Buternowsky

What do you think?


 

Offline RD

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What injuries are fatal for wild animals?
« Reply #1 on: 30/11/2009 22:22:05 »
Quote from: Barry Buternowsky  link=topic=27115.msg286921#msg286921 date=1259580603
... what kind of issues (disease, accidents, etc) would pose as a death sentence for animals?

Loss of dentition: a toothless tiger would only be capable of inflicting a severe hickey. :)
 

Offline Nizzle

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What injuries are fatal for wild animals?
« Reply #2 on: 01/12/2009 07:05:32 »
Quote from: Barry Buternowsky  link=topic=27115.msg286921#msg286921 date=1259580603
... what kind of issues (disease, accidents, etc) would pose as a death sentence for animals?

Loss of dentition: a toothless tiger would only be capable of inflicting a severe hickey. :)

and some minor scratches of course ;)
 

Offline Don_1

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What injuries are fatal for wild animals?
« Reply #3 on: 01/12/2009 09:13:55 »
The consequences of an injury would be dependant on a range of circumstances. While a slight leg injury causing a temporary limp to a Thompson's Gazelle might only put the animal at slight extra risk of being caught by a predator, the same injury to an Ibex could easily prove fatal, due to the terrain of the Ibex's habitat. An injured predatory pack animal (such as a Lioness or Wolf) may be disadvantaged until the injury mends itself, having to make do with the leftovers from a kill, but a solitary predator in the same position, unable to hunt, might well starve to death.

With some animals, the sick and injured have to do the best they can to survive, yet others will be considered by the rest of the heard/pack when and where it is possible to do so without putting them all at great risk.
 

Offline Barry Buternowsky

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What injuries are fatal for wild animals?
« Reply #4 on: 02/12/2009 19:20:43 »
Perhaps death in the animal kingdom can be partitioned into different areas:
(1) other animal killed it
(a) cause: animal was healthy, but couldn't avoid predator
(b) cause: animal's injury hampered its ability to escape
(2) animal died of disease unrelated to an injury
(3) animal's injury caused it to starve
(4) animal died of old age (natural causes)
... many others

I supposed "natural causes" or "old age" rarely occurs in the animal kingdom, and that the animal's eventual death is almost always linked to a disease or injury (except for when it gets killed by another animal).
 

Offline Nizzle

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What injuries are fatal for wild animals?
« Reply #5 on: 03/12/2009 08:25:08 »
I supposed "natural causes" or "old age" rarely occurs in the animal kingdom

When a gazelle gets killed by a lion, that's a pretty natural cause to me.
 

Offline geo driver

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What injuries are fatal for wild animals?
« Reply #6 on: 03/12/2009 13:47:35 »
i would emagen that the only unnatural death in the wild is when a bird strangles its self on detritus left by people. or the destruction of habitat by man to increase crop yeald ect
 

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What injuries are fatal for wild animals?
« Reply #6 on: 03/12/2009 13:47:35 »

 

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