Short Communication

Capture and immobilisation of aardvark (Orycteropus afer) using different drug combinations : research communication

P.J. Nel, A. Taylor, D.G.A. Meltzer, M.A. Haupt
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 71, No 1 | a679 | DOI: | © 2000 P.J. Nel, A. Taylor, D.G.A. Meltzer, M.A. Haupt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 July 2000 | Published: 10 July 2000

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P.J. Nel,
A. Taylor,
D.G.A. Meltzer,
M.A. Haupt,

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Nine aardvarks (Orycteropus afer) were captured in the southern Free State, South Africa, for the placement of abdominal radio transmitters. Five combinations of ketamine hydrochloride with xylazine hydrochloride, midazolam or medetomidine hydrochloride were used to induce anaesthesia. In some cases the level of anaesthesia was maintained with 1.5 % halothane. A mixture of ketamine hydrochloride and medetomidine hydrochloride was found to be most effective. Atipamizole reversed the affects of medetomidine hydrochloride, resulting in a smooth and full recovery within 8 minutes. The immobilisation and subsequent anaesthesia of these animals on cold winter nights resulted in hypothermia, and keeping the animals warm was essential to the success of the procedures undertaken. Reversal of the sedative medetomidine hydrochloride proved to be important, because animals that were released before they were fully conscious took refuge in their burrows so that care was impossible.


Aardvark; Anaesthesia; Atipamizole; Halothane; Ketamine; Medetomidine; Midazolam; Orycteropus Afer; Xylazine


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Crossref Citations

1. The feeding ecology of the aardvark Orycteropus afer
W.A. Taylor, P.A. Lindsey, J.D. Skinner
Journal of Arid Environments  vol: 50  issue: 1  first page: 135  year: 2002  
doi: 10.1006/jare.2001.0854