Life of the wildlife veterinarian is unpredictable, dangerous, exhilarating, windblown, and thrill-driven. Dr. Gabby Wild welcomes you to our world of adventure against perilous situations and alongside wonderful friends in an effort to save animal lives. Join us as we go across various African countries and land in Uganda to tend to the Canines for Conservation Unit and save one of chimp named Rambo at Dr. Jane Goodall’s founding chimpanzee sanctuary on Ngamba (Chimpanzee) Island.
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i chose the path of a global vet which usually takes me to some of the most remote locations of the planet putting me face to face with all sorts of species as well as the treacherous environment that surround them my journey has led to some interesting characters mind-blowing situations and.
Even modeling gigs no day is alike or predictable but it's my animal friends that matter most i'm traversing the globe i'm using cutting-edge medical practices and ancient ones i'm saving lives i am dr wild so what is my day like well it's not.
Terribly different from yours i wake up crawl out of bed i have my coffee and i get in the car or on an elephant or however i can manage to commute to the office are you a doctor for animals real doctors treat more than.
One species kidding kidding kidding as a wildlife vet people often ask me where my office is i tell them everywhere they ask what my hours are and i say all of them i'm sometimes surprised at how i wound up here but over the course of many years in odd.
Opportunities in animal medicine i began to collect some really unique skill sets for instance my studies in eastern medicine led to my chinese veterinary acupuncture sessions which i decided to perform on elephants yeah you heard me right i do acupuncture on elephants.
You're doing so great bubba i know i know that one hurts on me too and apparently i was the first person to do this in the past 3000 years many times when the call comes i don't know all the logistics or exactly how i'm going to get to a place i'm usually half told what's going on with the animal and how long we have to respond.
This particular call came from the african wildlife foundation they needed assistance with lines in tanzania chimps in uganda gorillas in rwanda elephants in zimbabwe okay no specifics just this is the situation just bring the supplies necessary and that's what i do you just kind of roll with the punches on it okay.
I have the clipboard in here then even though my personal life was a little bit haywire as i was trying to plan an engagement party which i did not want an engagement party but we did it anywho to make everybody else happy and a wedding so i coordinated with my amazing now husband joe who's like this big mma fighting kind of.
Guy to babysit my teacup chihuahua named pixie dust so try to imagine him walking through the streets of new york with this teeny little chihuahua it almost looked like itself a comedy show.
That that shows true love and commitment so that i could jump on a plane and go save these animals first stop was tanzania which didn't turn out to be such a fun place to be since airport security held our camera and medical equipment for ransom so imagine you get off a plane and you're exhausted who enjoys taking.
Plane rides for what 12-14 hours no one zero people only for these gentlemen to tell me sorry we're taking your medical equipment and your filming equipment and we were told that we needed to provide a bond of about thirty thousand dollars in order to get it back they then proceeded to take our.
Passports and i realized i was in deep doo-doo of course nothing ever goes to plan but as i listened for about an hour to these gentlemen all chatting about the situation finally i stated to the gentleman that i had been recording everything on my cell phone and that.
They really needed to release us um i'm glad my bluff worked because i had no internet so i wasn't able to send that video to actually anybody but the bluff worked they released us and so thankfully we got our tails out of there onto a plane to uganda arguably the best task force is.
Four-legged and tail wagging the canine unit and they happen to be my patients here i met up with lenin muwanja who heads up the operation the canine unit is actually used to sniff out wildlife crime we train on a daily basis just as they go to work they keep training these dogs.
The relationship between dog and handler is needless to say indescribable elsa is one of the canines for conservation's top sniffed down dogs they can actually locate rhino horn or elephant tusk one major issue though is that often when a veterinary emergency erupts it happens.
Out in the field leonard needed me to train his team on basic canine cpr essentially emergency medicine you see and you have to keep your arms very some people go like this whatever works honestly to keep you strong and steady after fun sessions of petrifying elsa.
Using leonard as my dog prop we decided to head over to the entebbe airport to see elsa in action jeff was hidden something in there while we were here so dinner and elsa don't know where it is it is now dinastasia with the help of elsa to dress for where this item is.
these dogs are trained noses humans have about 5 million smell receptors but dogs have about 300 million so they have needless to say the best resume for sniffing out hippo teeth and tusks which may be hidden by poachers in airport cargo halls.
So this is the box here yeah you see these are pangolins one this is 25 grams so all this together is just 70 grams a pangolin strap yes but the dog is able to sniff this out so you will find that if you put your nose here.
It's very difficult to smell this you can now so we're having dogs not only save the animals but help save the world yes it just goes to show how amazing this program is because you really can't get past these dogs leonard and i said our goodbyes and i was back from the detour to my next stop.
zambia was a piece of heaven because we would be taking care of children that were part of a school that focused on wildlife conservation called lupani.
We're surrounded by children with hopefulness what more could you want that was so humbling thank you for that beautiful welcome the poems the songs i i couldn't be more excited to be here just like to us we see squirrels and deer in our backyard they are traumatized by elephants.
Wreaking havoc on their farmland to them that's a massive pest and elephants can be lethal so to them they view them in a way that is the most horrible type of pest so therefore it perpetuates this distrust and dislike for them when we know at the end of the day it's just.
Because of territory issues human animal conflict we're able to discuss with them these issues how we can mitigate it and how we can have a world all together we have more people we then need more farms we then cut down more trees and we therefore go on to more elephant.
Territory so we have more conflicts with them if we got rid of all the elephants the ground was bad and then we get lots of water then we get lots of mosquitoes then we get malaria every animal is very important to our ecosystem right it's part of conservation we need them and they need us.
But that's why through lukani you're making corridors so the elephants stay away from you and they go into these more natural areas a lot of excitement so we decided to go out in the field do you guys oh there's some more right there.
I asked everybody do you like elephants and only you said you liked them which was amazing so now you've all seen elephants yes do you like elephants yes they're beautiful right yes oh amazing let's go scream for elephants an amazing time with the children.
And it was happily ever after if somebody comes to me with an idea a tangible idea that we can use to help animals i am more than happy to listen and be there a lot of people tell me oh so you do modeling.
No i don't i'm really short i'm 5'3 in fact i'm very bad at even just doing makeup i only know how to do one look and that's it so the reason why i ended up going into a little bit of the fashion world was to draw people in because it's a beautiful form of art we all wear clothes not all of us that's not true most of us wear.
Clothing and it's a beautiful form of expression but two it's a terribly corrupt industry and i thought this would be a fantastic way to segue into how humans and animals are all interconnected so we decided to team up together to do something truly wild it just turned me into an elephant.
Many people find them less jazzy than say a lion so we wanted to just bring some pizzazz these designers put hot body and soul into the the design does that match what the animal is does that give the energy and just you know i was able to mix hand mix these berries to create the specific color and they.
Were all just so into it just got more ideas and glitter here and glitter there and and i have so much respect for actors and what they go through it is painful when i would take a shower it was crazy all of the the green or all of the white or pink that was coming off of me and it was.
An incredible result you would hope that the next part of our journey was simple but nothing in my line of work is ever simple including heading to ningomba island chimpanzee sanctuary in order to get there you have to take a little rickety boat but you can't just.
Do it at your leisure you have to go during a certain time of day to avoid the boat capsizing because of the high tides on lake victoria to tie everything down to prevent all of the water that's coming in from wetting all of the equipment and we're all trying not to drink the water out of fear that we're going to get these terrible.
Bacterial infections and we just said it is what it is if we all just die from some random disease welcome to africa so we did manage to survive the boat trip and then started our tour of the island to meet its well-respected and rather loud guests.
I'm gonna aim this way the most pressing situation was to take care of a very heartbroken little chimp named rambo who unfortunately got into a little spat with another chimp over a girl as a reward he received a little punch on his cheek that resulted in an abscess my assignment was to knock out rambo not.
Quite how he had received his abscess but anesthetically knock him out and drain out his abscess we would also do a routine physical and routine blood work none of this could be done without my fellow colleague and wildlife veterinarian dr joshua and of course the keepers at nagamba island.
With this procedure and anesthetic concern he wanted assistance from someone with my specific background anesthesia anesthesia procedure what do you want how you do the procedure i love it i love squeezing this can get pretty gross.
Think of it as essentially the ultimate dr pimple popper whether it's just a simple physical examination that requires anesthesia or if it's something that's a little bit more invasive like a little surgery i make sure that we have a checklist before i even enter the building so we want him to have a little bit of.
Pain so he's aware that he needs to tend to himself but we also don't want him to be so painful that obviously he's painful and b but the others can pick on him easily so it's a balancing act the procedure began rambo went down quite easily one shot done.
So i do every examination the same exact way literally from head to toe you don't want to forget oh did you forget to take a urine sample oh did you forget to grab some blood you want to make sure that you have instant iv access so that way if you need something like you need to reverse.
A drug because they're having a reaction you have that ability rambo's abscess had already gone unattended for about a month slowly i made the incision and began to drain the abscess i thought by the time i landed and drained this thing i'd be done but it.
Just kept pouring out like lava it doesn't bother me blunt and schmutz it bothers me in a person oh i could never be a human doctor ever getting into a tuffle and i kept flushing it and flushing it i thought gosh how this this this has been here for centuries not for a month comes in different colors so the orange.
Doesn't necessarily tell you that it could be blue for example um but that is a forehead so i just put on the spot to try to clean it as much as possible before and give it you know a few minutes of contact time finally.
The parcel came out or the medical term the purulent debris this will continue to drain which is a good thing and eventually the fibrosis which is what happened here this is gonna this is all fibrosis there's nothing left inside of here dr joshua and i were grateful it was.
Over we then decided we were finished we could reverse our anesthetic get this kid back into a squeeze cage so he can recover with our keepers safely calmly and in peace that's it perfect and the next morning he woke up he had his breakfast and he was able to go back to his friends.
Sometimes wildlife can be a little bit funny when they're returning to a group of animals they can sometimes be picked on because they know something unique has happened to them but he was accepted back to his group without any issues soaking up the last few beautiful moments with rambo the other chimps and my fellow creature caregivers.
Team wild sadly had to pack up to follow up with our next pair of patients a cheetah and a shoe build stork we finally made it back to the mainland and regained our internet connection no worries pixie dust was doing great fiance was surviving and i had a bajillion emails regarding the wedding.
But in consideration we survived a kidnapping in tanzania we made it through canines for conservation and cpr training an amazing time with the children modeling wild surgery and rambo doing pretty well with all of that said the wedding planning was going to be a piece of cake.
You go out into the wild and it's a completely different game your perspective of life completely changes you
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