Where in the World is....Scott MacGregor, DVM

Facing off with elephants in South Africa

Scott MacGregor, DVM, Livestock Consulting Services, Idaho Falls, Idaho, returned to South Africa in March. "We spent about 10 days working with two of the consulting veterinarians there, Dr. Rick Mapham and Dr. Andy Hentzen," MacGregor says. "Their economy has been somewhat insulated from the global financial problems and business was good within the feedlot sector. There was an abundance of rain fall this year and there was a push to buy more lightweight calves to maximize the grass opportunity. Health had been good during the past year and there is every indication that more beef is being consumed all the time."

MacGregor says the biggest strides he sees in South African cattle production when he has been there is in the area of nutrition, and that new technologies and information are finding their way there each year.

"The Black population in South Africa is becoming more upwardly mobile each year we go," he says. "There is a form of affirmative action which has given black students and business men and women a chance at a better life. It has been remarkable to follow over the past years. Mandela should be proud."

And you thought cows were mad

This ain"t no circus elephant   he was having some road rage issues.
(Photo by Janet MacGregor)

It"s not all business for MacGregor when visits. "We had our greatest adventure this year in the African Bush, when we were charged by a large bull elephant," he recounts. "We crashed a large Land Cruiser off the road into a ditch and tree and watch helplessly as he made two very close mock charges. We were later told by Park biologists that the fact that we went off the road and the fact that the car was so large perhaps saved a real charge. This same elephant had demolished two Park work vehicles during the same week. 

"I was too dumb to know any differences in behavior, but our friends from South Africa did recognize the problem and helped keep us out of real harm. As they say, ‘That's Africa." We still love it there more than any other place we have traveled, and have seriously considered going there for our winters when and if I ever retire."

Have you had an interesting experience in the last year involving international or domestic travel where you have interacted with and helped other bovine veterinarians or livestock producers? Are you a veterinary student who has had a unique bovine-related international externship? If so, e-mail  a description of your adventure and a photo or two to gwren@food360.com and we"ll put you on the BovineVetOnline.com Web site.


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