Small bugs give Trouble big problems


 Life at Adventures With Elephants is not always a bed of roses. Like everyone else, we have good days and bad days. Yesterday was one of the bad ones.

Trouble, our beloved meerkat who’s been with us since he was 4 days old was not very well. He seemed to be battling something and we feared the worst: that he'd been bitten by a snake or had eaten something poisonous. We rushed him to the vet in Bela Bela. By the time we arrived at the vets he was almost lifeless.
 
But vets are calm, knowledgeable people and our vet calmly took him into her examination room and began checking him over. Trouble being Trouble was a gem in the vet’s room, and managed to turn over for a scratch on his chest and tummy. It was in this position that the vet noticed what the problem was. She quickly sedated him and pulled out a large pair of tweezers. She checked him over and tugged at a spot on his skin and pulled. Out popped a wriggling mango fly maggot! 
 
After a while she must have pulled out about 30 of the revolting little bugs. We could not believe it, and even though Trouble is fully de-wormed and de-flead these things were able to grow inside him. The vet reckons that Trouble must have laid in a mango fly nest.
 
Mango flies lay their eggs in damp soil (and clothes that’s why we iron our laundry in the tropics!). These eggs then burrow into the skin when they make contact, and this must have happened to Trouble. With the recent rains the soil is perfect for the flies to lay eggs in, then with the following heat Trouble must have found a damp cool shady spot to lay in and that’s where his trouble’s started (no pun intended!). The eggs must have gotten into him and begun hatching, then feeding, and with that his health deteriorated quickly with so many in his tiny body! 
 
Thankfully he is now maggot-free and and on the road to recovery and will be able to mingle with our guests soon.
 
We’d like to thank the Bela Bela vets for keeping us calm under pressure (we are pedantic about our animals), and for the wonderful job done with our little meerkat.
 
P.s Trouble says that anyone thinking of visiting with flowers and get well soon cards should rather just send a tub of crickets or meal worms!