By Joe McFarlane
A pair of American tourists came across a zebra caught in a trap, and along with Safari rangers helped rescue the injured wild animal.
When Audrey Storch and her husband Michael headed to Thorntree Bush Camp in Zambia to celebrate Audrey’s 60th birthday, they never expected their fun-filled trip would turn into an intense, life-or-death rescue mission.
While out in the bush with their guides, Towanda and Obi, the couple from New Jersey came across a Zebra whose leg was caught in a snare trap set up by illegal poachers trying to catch Antelopes.
Audrey said: “The Zebra got startled hearing us and got up and tried to leave and that is when we saw his back left leg was caught in a snare.
“He fell back down to the ground. It looked like he was there for hours based on his exhaustion and the blood from struggling.
Refusing to leave and opting to stay and help rescue the Zebra, the group began to put a plan in place.
Finding a way to keep the Zebra’s head down so as not to hurt itself or the guides, the group positioned a log on the Zebra’s neck in order to keep the animal calm and in position.
Though helpful, this didn’t stop the frightened Zebra from lashing out in fear and confusion.
Audrey said: “It was very hard for a long time as the Zebra’s free back leg would kick out and the guides had to find a way to secure the leg so he wouldn’t hurt them.
“I was in pain myself seeing him. I was in tears. The only thing I knew for sure was I would not let him die. I was not going to leave him until he was free.”
After being trapped for hours, the group managed to finally cut-free the injured animal in less than 50 minutes after getting the right tools and permission to help.
Though free, the Zebra’s leg was cut in a bad way from struggling for hours. But this didn’t stop the Zebra from galloping away off into the distance.
Audrey said: “They kept saying the wires cut his hoof off and I was past upset. But once we saw him finally get up and run away I knew his hoof was still attached.
“Only after we saw the Zebra run off could I smile! It was our last night in Africa and what a gift to allow us to save him.
“I am incredibly grateful for everyone involved as there was no way I could have done it without them. 1000% team effort. My heroes.”
Though a traumatic experience, in the end, it appears to have been the cherry on the cake for Audrey and her 60th Birthday celebrations.
Audrey said: “I felt like I’d won the Lottery! My husband and I both were on such a “high” for days knowing we foiled the horrible results of poachers and rescued such an innocent and beautiful animal.
“Plus it being our last night of one of the most, if not the most, amazing vacation of my life made it like being in heaven. Best 60th Birthday present ever!”