Archive | May, 2016

Sad day

12 May


Yesterday was a sad day for my profession, be more specific it’s a sad day for a wildlife vet. Just heard the news from the whatsapp group about one young vet died after got attack by a male raging elephant in Wonogiri, in a local tourism object there. Well the news bit blurred in the early, then more actual news spread. Yes it was true.

A young women vet, drh. Esthi Octavia Warahapsari, 25 years old, has died after tragic attack by a male elephant during its health examination.

It said that the mahout couldn’t control the elephant when dr. Esthi tried to took a picture of the elephant. The elephant suddenly raged and straight to stroke dr. Esthi. When the mahout tried to save her, there came another attack by the elephant. It stomped the belated doctor Esthi. She couldn’t survived for the treatment and gone. But that’s the unpredictable situation that mostly happen when work with animals, especially the bigger and wilder one.

What caused the incident, probably because the elephant had silent musth. It’s hormonal reaction when a male elephant in sexually heat, that makes him very aggressive and it’s definitely dangerous for people around him. The other cause maybe the elephant had somekind of traumatic event with cellphone, since the incident happen just straight after dr.Esthi was taking picture of the elephant by her cellphone. Not sure whether it’s the flashlight or the cellphone itself. Buy maybe those were already a trauma for the elephant in the past, he memorized and really dislikes it.

But the biggest cause, was the lack of safety standard procedure on animal handling and restrain. The mahout failed to read the elephant’s actual temperament, failed to control the elephant. There was no ideal stall for the examination procedure. And it’s one big wild species anyway, no one can barely handed control it, especially in a rage mode. Small chances to survive when you work without proper safety procedure. Plus more x-factors like when you are not focus and distracted by other things, when the animals can easily read that you’re submissive and afraid, when the animals can senses your negativity, when they already hate you since the first time, obviously shits happen out of from nowhere, many times.

Really sad, felt very sorry, and deep condolence for dr. Esthi. Especially when realized that she came from the same university like I did, and yet the person was so much younger than you. I didn’t recognize and know her before, since the time gap quite far. Then this really reminds my naïve-younger age, though I worked with much smaller species, but wild animals is a wild animals. I was so clumsy to put all of those safety aside. Not because I was showing my balls to everyone, but it’s frustrating when you couldn’t rely to nobody to work. Plus there are so many wildlife institution/ zoo without strict SOP to run. Improper system and restricted resources can raise your safety-ignorance level. We need to complete the job, with those many kinds of limitation, no wonder you’ll work recklessly. But sometimes we also just silly, pretending that the animal won’t hurt us and we got strike right “in the face” just because we came un -guard. That what’s happen on younger me, tried to catch an escape adult sun bear by myself, tried to catch gibbon in bare-handedly, tried to catch escape gibbon by myself. Countless scratches, wounds, bites, knee injured, ripped cloth, falls, hit something with your head. Yet I still lucky to not experience more than that.

My own partner had torn muscle in his legs and hands many times from gibbons, the last time I heard, he almost lost his finger due the orangutan’s bite. I witnessed my ex-boss got bite of an escape sun bear, just because he tried to restrain it. My recent boss also had a scar by a gibbon during her younger age work.  Once my senior colleague almost died because of cobra’s bite during her work in remote place in Kalimantan, luckily the fast responds save her lives. The worst one, my other senior colleague loss his lives due the rivers flood on Sumatra, drowned while he was joining a wild cat research there. It happened because he couldn’t swim and he didn’t wear the life jacket. It’s weird since he did work to rescue wildlife in Myanmar during huge flood there, and he always wore the life jacket. Yet he’s gone too soon in his early 30’s…

I changed my thought a bit, when a mental gibbon always attacked me when he escaped. Once he got me in the waist and leg. Again, I was lucky, my flesh quite thick and protected by my clothes. Though it just jeans and tees covered by field shirt, that 2 inches fang couldn’t work. Then I started to be more concern about safety and work protection. I prefer to wear boots all the working time, prefer to wait the teams when I have to do something with my patient, asking a better animal’s restraint facility and keep alert during work or walk in cages area. But still, shit happen. I almost drowned in the river flood, just like my colleague who I told earlier. Getting cocky by not wearing life jacket during sea journey by a small boat in a wavy current. Recklessly jump into croc’s pool to join the restrain work without concerning that there was another croc that still moving freely in the pool and its 3 meter’s height from the base to the top of the fences. That’s why we need to be alert and concern for the safety, always do things strict as the SOP told. Keep focus and aware, and don’t even try to challenge the animal itself. Accident can be happen anytime , anywhere. Not even an elephant, a small dog or cat can harm you easily when you’re not doing it right. No matter you work for farm animal, pet animal, exotic, and wildlife. No matter you work in farm, clinic, zoo, aquarium or even in the wild nature itself.

The case of dr. Esthi should be a lesson for everyone, especially for vets. Please run the best SOP for you and your patient’s safety. If there were no such SOP exist in your working place, make it and run it. Stay focus in work, alert. Shits happen, and sometime we just realize right in the moment we had it.

Deep condolence to dr. Esthi and her family, rest in peace. I may not know you, but I’m proud to see a young women vet willing to work with wildlife. Since there are not so many vets who want to work with wildlife and zoo. But this girl did it, though it ended very soon in a sad story.




(belated) Mayday

7 May


1 may, the mayday. It was couple days ago, I know it’s very late to post this. But things just not just that easy to spit out..hehehe

A day when most of the people believe that there will be a hell of strike movement, protest, long march, everywhere.


It’s already declared as an International Labor Day or even international worker day (sound more polite and gent?)

I don’t know why we celebrate this things annually, internationally. Then I googled it. It said that May Day is a commemoration day of the late Haymarket affair in 1886, when labors stroke and protested the authority for 8 hours working time policy. At that time, mayhem was happened. Police vs labors and took so many lives.


In Indonesia, the celebration are quite similar. Strike, protest, traffic jam, etc. Nobody can survive from the street, it’s a dead end situation, since the workers just off to work, leaving their factory and march, fulfilled the street. So in my honest opinion, this day really help most of people who disturbed by the labor’s ignorance to block other’s activity. A national day off to celebrate the workers, sounds very perfect. Stay at your home, take a rest and relax.

Some of us just pissed to see this labors action since its way too disturbing for the public. Some are really love to curse this labor, since their demand sometime are very irrelevant and illogical. Asking for high salary, luxurious facilities, but they don’t even qualified to do specific work, they don’t even have any proper education. They just work with their muscle, can’t even compare to those who work with their brain, to those who spend a looong time and wasted a l-o-o-o-t of money to gain numerous of title beside their name.

But is it really the labors that selfish to fight their rights and ignore others? Since 1886 until now, there are so many things that we enjoy due the labors agenda such as maximal working hours, minimum salary, maternity leave, social insurance, 13th salary (THR), and the mayday holiday itself. The policies dropped for the sake of every workers and professions, yet it’s because the usual and common factory labors who were persistently unite and force the authority. Who’s enjoying the result? Everybody!

The fact that when every year before the government set up the minimum salary, they have to set up the standard living cost first. Yet the labors move to push the number bit higher. We all can be bit cynical to react for their needs and demands. We all can be so much mean to criticize how they’re not that worth and smart to spend their budget for living. Yes it’s not makes any sense when you’re just a labor, but you want to buy a motor sport, car, expensive gadget like i-phone or even vacation abroad. But so do all of us, who pretend worth for it. And it’s all of people’s finance problem in the whole world anyway. The over-consumptive behavior. No one can handle the markets temptation. Especially when you’re not educated enough to be a responsible person. So, whatever the labor’s strike for, it’s for your own good too, mostly. If some profession paid lower than the minimum salary on the region, the problem is not in the labors. It’s the company who break the law. Stop complaining, gather and sue the company. Then we talk about who’s being selfish and who’s not.


Another fact that we all the same. We are just worker and labor. Nothing special. Maybe uniform, suite, tie, field of work, job description, competency. But when you work for the corporate, it all the same, except you are the owner or the boss of the company. The rule and law which protect the worker always generalize every worker as worker or labor, without differ their profession and education. The problem is the law for specific profession are never protect and assure the profession specifically itself, such as salary and working right. So we all the same. Bit hard to admit, but that’s the fact. No matter you work for a company, government or even NGO.

Just like me, I’m a vet, working for a NGO, being paid like labor, works like a labor, and really try to understand and honor the labor. The problem is I couldn’t enjoy the Mayday when it’s not on my day off.

Pity huh..

So during the mayday, which luckily was in my routine day-off and pay day. So, instead of working (like my other unlucky partners) or even march to the public, I spent the day with my wife to the city for date in a so-so Italian pretending restaurant.


Happy belated Mayday.

Feels Like Home

5 May

a life of wildlife’s vet 🙂

Holiztic Vet

Around 6 a.m this morning I opened my eyes, saw sun rays penetrated my room through a safari patterned curtain covering my windows, heard the trickling sound of gentle rain, checked my watch, then grabbed my blanket and went back to sleep. I’m not a morning person (unless if morning person means they sleep in the morning, ha!) so waking up before 8 a.m is not easy for me, and the rain did not make it any easier. Half an hour later my alarm rang, so I forced myself to wake up after pressing the snooze button a couple of times.

morning sun

I took a deep breath, took a large amount of fresh air with the smell of the jungle to fill my lungs. Birds had started chirping since sunrise, with cicadas joining their jungle orchestra them as well. Every now and then I heard rustling leaves as the long tailed and…

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Happy WVD

2 May


Two days ago, April 30 2016, was the last Saturday of April, a day when some people with same profession which veterinarian, celebrating the World Veterinary Day. Here were some words from the President of World Veterinarian Association about the celebration:

WVA President’s message for WVD 2016:

I’m very excited to announce and applaud World Veterinary Day (WVD) 2016 on Saturday, April 30, with the theme “continuing education with a One Health Focus”
This year we celebrate three important topics.
First, WVD established in the year of 2000 by the WVA, honors the many contributions veterinarians, and veterinary technicians/nurses provide to animals and people in communities all over the world. Veterinarians prevent and treat illness in animals everywhere. They respond to help in natural and manmade disasters, educate the next generation, and discover new vaccines, medicines and treatments for animals and people. Veterinarian monitor, report and control animals and human disease outbreaks across the globe, and provide quality healthcare to food producing animals. Through their work and dedicated commitment, veterinarians make the world safer place for both animals and people.
Second, we celebrate the importance of continuing educations- for lifelong learning, so veterinarians and other health care workers remain vigilant and competent to provide the best services for animals and people with the best results. Knowledge gives us the potential and ability to be the best we can be for the purposes we have in life.
Third, we celebrate the importance of the One Health Concept and approach-that the health of people and animal is intimately connected and people need to communicate and work across many professions for the greater public good. People benefit from animals through companionship, protection, safe and nutritious food products, work-related and recreational activities, the biodiversity of our wildlife, and research, and new knowledge to better our lives.
The WVA applauds the veterinary medical profession today and every day for their work around the world, and will recognize a veterinary medical association with the WVD award for highlighting continuing educations efforts that focus on a One Health issue in their community. The award is co- sponsored by the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE), and will be presented during the OIE General Assembly in Paris the last week of May.
With sincere regards,
Dr. Rene’ A Carlson

From the message above, this year WVD’s theme are more about continuing education focusing on One Health Concept. There are three main topics that related to the celebration:
1. To appreciate the role of veterinarian, vet nurse and vet technician in all around the world. Due their work and dedicated commitment, they make the world safer place for both animals and people.
2. To celebrate the importance of continuing educations- for lifelong learning. Knowledge gives us the potential and ability to be the best we can be for the purposes we have in life.
3. To celebrate the importance of the One Health Concept and approach-that the health of people and animal is intimately connected and people need to communicate and work across many professions for the greater public good.

To view those three topics, obviously it could boost our spirit, as veterinarian for making a better world in the future.

Almost every colleague had a bitter moment when they don’t get people’s appreciation. Though our effort of our profession can affect many big things, sometime it’s not easily visible. What would happen if our hard work suddenly blurred by people’s stigma because bad action of some other people with their vet title and it’s happened in many veterinarian’s fieldwork. Then there’s one field that become focus and well spread in media (Since I also related to that field), which is conservation.

Quite choking when we look almost one year in the past, we could find so many popping cases in the public about wildlife crime and dragged veterinarian as the suspect. At least there were four veterinarians accused as illegal wildlife traffickers. Almost at the end of 2015, a vet who work as government’s quarantine officer, involved in wildlife smuggling activity to abroad, and also a part of an international syndicate. Then in the beginning of this year, a vet has been caught by hand while buying wildlife in Central Java. Just a few moment after, a couple of vets, husband and wife, were also caught selling wildlife in Banyuwangi, East Java.

Most of violator are divided into types, the one that don’t know the rule, and the other one who really know the rule and still break it. Veterinarian is an agent of animal welfare, and definitely really understand about animal welfare. A veterinarian have to know their own ethical code, and especially the one that written in section 3, which is sounded more to like, a veterinarian is not allowed to use their profession for any activity which against natural resources conservation and humanity. That’s a basic and principle thing for any veterinarian. In addition a vet really need to understand about law especially UU No. 41 Tahun 2014 as an amendment of UU No. 18 Tahun 2009, which regulate about animal farmer and animal health. If some of them want to know more deep about national resources conservation, they can just read UU No. 5 Tahun 1990 also PP No.7 Tahun 1999.

Many vets work really hard in each of their field, including those who work very hard to conserve and preserve wildlife in Indonesia. Not even a proper appreciation, some of them can’t even get a proper living. Instead of getting good appreciation, now they get bad stereotype just because bunch of people who do wrong things.

Luckily, there was a moment when this picture appeared.


On that picture, implicitly, we’ll see a process of hard work, some already had nice results that should turn into another kind of different hard work. It’s Drh. Erni Suyanti Musabine, who later known as a tough vet lady in her work to save tigers and other Indonesian wildlife species. Because of her great work, veterinarian’s profile can gain positive appreciation again, very far from bad image, especially in wildlife conservation in Indonesia. Took many years of process, just to make people stare her works (at least) and make people start to care and support her efforts. And obviously, it’s not easy with all of the limitation that she had in the field. For sure, it’s also happened because of her honest and wholeheartedly to carry basic and principle things for her professional works.

Seeing the phenomenon and make it as reflection, it’s clearly that these could be a good lesson for all of the veterinarians. Always start from good basic and principle things, then we can and we have to step to something further and bigger, also always do it with honest and wholehearted. In the other way, when we start with inappropriate basic and principle things, it would ended fatal. Even if it could make you financially advanced, or instantly famous.

Bit out of topic regarding this year WVD’s theme but it sounded perfect when we see the One Health Concept. Life experience is huge continuing education process anyway. This goal of post just to appreciate the late..late..WVD, even though it way too segmented. But there’s someone said to me that a consistency sometime more sound like “move on failure”.
This words were already very late (2 days, for sure).

Two days ago, maybe a bunch of youngsters already shouted it while long marched in the street. Or some of generous vets already celebrated it by doing charity for people around. Or some of them just share the words by updating the status and uploading the picture in their social media, or some of them maybe just mused, thinking deeply for what they’ve done in those remote area, far away.

So one more time,
Happy World Veterinary Day
Viva Veteriner!