THE MOBILE VETERINARY UNITS

| The Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit | The Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit | The Meru Mobile Veterinary Unit | The Amboseli Mobile Veterinary Unit | DSWT Mobile Veterinary Project Summary | Sky Vets | Veterinarian Profiles |

The Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit

Area of Operation:

Tsavo Mobile Vet Area Map This Mobile veterinary Unit covers both the vast Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Park and the surrounding ranches and dispersal areas, also assisting with cases from Shimba Hills National Park and Lamu District.

This fully mobile team is based from Voi Tsavo East National Park headquarters.


Team Description:

Headed by KWS Field Veterinary Officer Dr. Jeremiah Poghon this Unit has been equipped with a custom-designed vehicle and all the necessary equipment including a vaccine refrigerator, dart gun, VHF radios, GPS, camera, binoculars as well as all the medicines required for rapid and effective veterinary response. A DSWT Driver and Veterinary Assistant supports Dr. Poghon along with two experienced Kenya Wildlife Service capture rangers.

This is Unit is funded through DSWT by Vier Photen and has been operational since November 2003.

Team Reports:

Latest Photos from the Field: (View a Gallery of all Mobile Vet Photos for this unit)

The tusk growing the wrong wayAfter removing the arrow from the elephantRemoving the tuskThe elephants injury
The tusk growing the wrong way
photo taken on 8/13/2014

After removing the arrow from the elephant
photo taken on 8/13/2014

Removing the tusk
photo taken on 8/13/2014

The elephants injury
photo taken on 8/13/2014


Latest Veterinary Report for The Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit: August 2014
(below are a few photos from the latest report)

Shortening the tusk  Removing the tusk

Treating the wound  After treatment on the wound

After catching the elephant  Moving the elephant to the airstrip



The Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit

Area of Operation:

Mara Mobile Vet Unit Area MapThe Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit, which is funded and operated by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in partnership with the KWS, is based out of KWS's Keekerok Research Station in the Masai Mara and provides permanent veterinary support to the larger  ecosystem which includes the many adjacent Conservancies.  

This Unit can include Lake Naivasha, Ruma National Park and Lake Nakuru National Park and the surrounding ranches and dispersal areas when required.


Team Description:

Headed by KWS Veterinary Officer Dr. Limo, and assisted by DSWT's Felix Micheni along with two KWS Capture Unit Rangers, this Unit has been equipped with a custom-designed vehicle and all the necessary equipment.   This includes a refrigerator, dart gun, VHF radios, GPS, camera, binoculars as well as the medicines and equipment required for rapid and effective veterinary response. 

The team is funded through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust by The Minara Trust and has been operational since March 2007.

 

 

Team Reports:

Latest Photos from the Field: (View a Gallery of all Mobile Vet Photos for this unit)

after treating the wounddead elephantNo tusks to be foundRemoving the spear
after treating the wound
photo taken on 7/1/2014

dead elephant
photo taken on 7/1/2014

No tusks to be found
photo taken on 7/1/2014

Removing the spear
photo taken on 7/1/2014


Latest Veterinary Report for The Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit: July 2014
(below are a few photos from the latest report)

The immobilized bull  Examining the bull

Darting the wildebeest  Placing the collar on the wildebeest

Wildebeest coming back around  The wildebeest back on its feet



The Meru Mobile Veterinary Unit

Area of Operation:

Meru Mobile Vet Area MapThe Meru Mobile Veterinary Unit, which is funded and operated by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in partnership with the KWS, is based out of Meru National Park and provides permanent veterinary support to the larger Meru ecosystem comprising of Meru National Park, Bisanadi National Park and Kora National Reserve, including all wildlife dispersal areas around the Eastern Conservation Area, whilst also extending its services to additional parks and reserves in the Northern Conservation Area.

The unit works closely with KWS Dr Matthew Mutinda, who is based out of Lewa and runs the Laikipia Mobile Vet Unit, to ensure wildlife in the Samburu/Laikipia ecosystem is also provided with appropriate veterinary care.


Team Description:

The Meru veterinary team is headed by Kenya Wildlife Service Veterinary Officer Dr Bernard Rono.  Dr Rono is ably assisted by DSWT driver and Veterinary Assistant Peter Kariuki along with two skilled KWS capture rangers.  The team is fully equipped with GPS, Radios, Cameras, and binoculars, a customised 4x4 vehicle suitable for off-road driving, two darting systems that can be alternately used depending on terrain and other prevailing field conditions, all necessary drugs and medical supplies as well as basic laboratory equipment that enables prompt field diagnosis and treatment.

The Meru Mobile Veterinary Unit is generously funded through the DSWT by Mr Companc and has been operational since February 2013.

Team Reports:

Latest Photos from the Field: (View a Gallery of all Mobile Vet Photos for this unit)

Traumatic dislocation of the left footlockThe young elephant back on its feetThe snare around the elephants legThe rhinos horns are removed
Traumatic dislocation of the left footlock
photo taken on 7/1/2014

The young elephant back on its feet
photo taken on 7/1/2014

The snare around the elephants leg
photo taken on 7/1/2014

The rhinos horns are removed
photo taken on 7/1/2014


Latest Veterinary Report for The Meru Mobile Veterinary Unit: July 2014
(below are a few photos from the latest report)

The helicopter used for the darting process  The immobilized bull

Manipulating the hind leg  The elephant gets back to its feet afer the revival drug is administered



The Amboseli Mobile Veterinary Unit

Area of Operation:

Amboseli Mobile Vet Area MapThe Amboseli Mobile Veterinary Unit is are most recent of four full-time Veterinary Units funded and operated by the DSWT in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service.  

This team is dedicated to providing permanent veterinary support within the Southern Conservation Area which includes Southern Tsavo West National Park, Amboseli National Park, the Chyulu Hills National Park, the surrounding Group Ranches extending to the Kajiado and Magadi areas.  

This fully mobile Unit's base is within Amboseli National Park Headquarters.

The Amboseli Unit works very closely with the Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit and Dr Poghon in covering as many wildlife cases as possible throught this vast ecosystem.


Team Description:

Headed by KWS Field Veterinary Officer Dr. Njoroge this Unit has been equipped with a custom-designed vehicle and all the necessary equipment including a refrigerator, dart gun, VHF radios, GPS, camera, binoculars as well as all the medicines and equipment required for rapid and effective veterinary response. 

A DSWT driver and Veterinary Assistant called Julius Kyalo supports Dr. Njoroge along with two experienced Kenya Wildlife Service capture rangers.

The Amboseli Mobile Veterinary Unit is generously funded through the DSWT by The Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Charitable Trust and has been operational since May 2014.

Team Reports:

Latest Photos from the Field: (View a Gallery of all Mobile Vet Photos for this unit)

incurable injurywhere the spear hit the elephantRemoving the tusksexamining the wound
incurable injury
photo taken on 7/1/2014

where the spear hit the elephant
photo taken on 7/1/2014

Removing the tusks
photo taken on 7/1/2014

examining the wound
photo taken on 7/1/2014


Latest Veterinary Report for The Amboseli Mobile Veterinary Unit: July 2014
(below are a few photos from the latest report)

searching for the elephant  getting a utensils ready for sedation

walking into the bush  Dense bush

Injured giraffe  Sedated giraffe


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Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit Ambroseli Mobile Veterinary Unit Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit Meru Mobile Veterinary Unit Mobile Veterinary Map

The DSWT is now funding and operating four fully equipped Mobile Veterinary Units headed by Kenya Wildlife Service field veterinarians along with a very successful rapid veterinary deployment initiative called Sky Vets.

These vital units, which operate out of Tsavo East, the Masai Mara, Meru National Park and Amboseli, alleviate the suffering of injured wild animals on an unprecedented scale. The Tsavo Unit was the first unit to be deployed by DSWT in 2003 and was a successful template employed by the following three additional mobile units which joined the DSWT/KWS veterinary force in subsequent years.

Without these units in the field hundreds of reports of injured wild animals would go untreated. Our trained and experienced KWS field veterinary officers, who are supported by a DSWT driver and two KWS capture rangers, treat a great variety of wildlife from rhinos to crocodiles, whilst huge efforts are being made to treat and monitor the many elephants and rhinos who are being targeted and injured for their tusks as they become innocent victims of the cruel ivory trade.

In all four vast conservation areas there is an enormous diversity of animal species and one of the fundamental objectives of these units is to alleviate suffering and distress in such animals by treating them promptly when they are sighted before infection sets in and the animals are lost. Previously, much time would be lost before a vet could be mobilized from Nairobi by which time wounded animals often could not be found, or were found already dead.

Surveillance of diseases such as rinderpest in wild species is another aspect of the Mobile Veterinary Units’ work. In the late l800’s rinderpest caused extensive mortality in buffaloes, kudus, and giraffes and remains a threat, although many wild species have developed some immunity. The Mobile Veterinary Units monitor any outbreaks and make appropriate containment recommendations. In addition, these units will investigate the source of disease outbreaks and institute appropriate control measures.

The DSWT is immensely grateful to our generous donors Vier Phfoten, the Minari Trust, Mr Companc and The Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Charitable Trust for so generously funding the ongoing operations of these units and in turn helping to save so many wild lives.

Dr. Jeremiah Poghon

I was born in 1977 in West Pokot district of Rift Valley Province near the border with Uganda. I come from a pastoralist community who depend on livestock as their main source of livelihood. I started schooling at Nasokol primary school from 1984 to 1991 where I obtained my primary education certificate before proceeding to Chewoyet High School for my O levels from 1992 to 1995. I studied Bachelor of veterinary medicine at the University of Nairobi from 1997 to 2002 where I successfully graduated in October 2002.

I began my work as an intern veterinarian at Kenchic limited, a private company dealing with large scale breeding and sale of day old chicks, broilers and layers within the eastern Africa region. My responsibilities were vaccinations, advice to contract farmers, disease surveillance and quality supervision at every level of production. I later got employed by the Kenyan government Mounted unit of the Kenya Police based at Gilgil town, as a veterinary surgeon. My responsibilities included equine breeding, equine training, vaccinations, routine management and training of new riders, a task I did diligently until the year 2008when my passion to work with wildlife saw my entry into Kenya Wildlife Service, veterinary department.

At Kenya Wildlife Service the scenario was quite unique unlike previously where I was used to handling tame animals, my love for wildlife and the experience I obtained from police ensured that I was certified to handle all wildlife species on my own within a short period. I was moved to the Tsavo mobile veterinary unit in April 2010 after my colleague Dr David Ndeereh who started the unit was transferred to the Kenya Wildlife Service, veterinary department in charge of laboratory and field diagnostics. The unit funded by VIER PFOTEN through the David Sheldrick wildlife trust is critical in prompt response to wildlife cases which include injuries, snares, disease outbreak investigation and surveillance within Tsavo ecosystem, Amboseli, chyulu and the coast region. Wildlife work has many challenges but the feeling of saving this precious and dwindling heritage gives me a lot of satisfaction.

My hobbies are watching football, playing football, swimming, reading nature magazines and listening to music.

Dr. Campaign Kiprotich Limo

I was born in the year 1972 in Mugundoi village, Kaboi location Nandi County. I am the sixth born in a family of nine and I am a true family man. After schooling within Nandi County in western Kenya I proceeded to join the University of Nairobi to pursue a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine degree (BVM) in the year 1993 and graduated in the year 1998.

My passion all along was to become a veterinary doctor having grown up loving animals from pets to livestock. This guided me in choosing my career and to me this was a dream fulfilled. I had a short stint as a private veterinary practitioner upon my graduation before being employed by the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) where I was posted to the coastal region to oversee livestock activities. I was tasked with handling all livestock events in both Galana and Kulalu Ranches within the Tana Delta as well as providing veterinary services to livestock in the Kiswani complex in Malindi.

My passion for wildlife was nurtured during this period in the Tana Delta as I used to see injured animals especially elephants and I had a feeling of wanting to assist them. I used to pray that one day I would get an opportunity to be their helper. I was transferred to ADC Kitale region in 2009 to be Veterinary Officer in charge of clinical services, breeding, artificial insemination and embryo transfer programmes in livestock units in this region.

My dream to work with wildlife came true in 2010 when I was employed by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) as a Veterinary officer based at the KWS HQ in Nairobi. From here I would attend to veterinary clinical emergencies within Nairobi Orphanage, Nairobi Safari Walk, Nairobi National Park and any other cases from the field across the country.

I have since been seconded by the KWS to head one of the DSWT’s Mobile Veterinary Units based in the Masai Mara conservation area where up to now I am still based. This unit covers emergency cases within the Masai Mara ecosystem. I have the support of an able veterinary assistant and two rangers whom together we form a very good team to respond to any case in the field.

I enjoy every bit of my work and I feel a great privilege to realize my passion which revolves around alleviating the suffering of our wildlife. I always remain committed to the welfare of animals and strive to the best of my ability to give them comfort and relieve them from any form of suffering. My hobbies are listening to Country music, watching rugby, football and cricket. I also enjoy playing badminton.

Dr. Bernard Rono

My name is Bernard and I was born in August, 1980 in Kericho County in western Kenya. I studied for a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Nairobi graduating in October 2005. In 2006 I enrolled for a Master of Science degree at the same university and joined a research group at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) that aimed to develop and evaluate a vaccine for control of pneumonia in cattle. Part of the research was conducted in the Mara ecosystem where I first interacted with wildlife and developed an interest in wildlife health.

In January 2009 I was employed by the government department of veterinary services in arid northern Garissa County. Here I worked with communities to implement disease control programs for livestock mainly under the pastoral production system. My responsibilities included surveillance programs for diseases, which are important at the human/livestock/wildlife interphase, such as monitoring rinderpest and rift valley fever. In the course of my duties I networked with wildlife veterinarians and was inspired to join the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in February 2010 as a veterinary officer.

At the KWS, I found a unique experience in wildlife veterinary practice. I had to quickly learn how to handle different species of wildlife, their behavior and demeanor and how to approach these animals. During the past three years I have had an opportunity to work with a diverse range of tropical wildlife species including elephants, rhinos, lions, giraffes and many others. My duties include rescue of orphaned wildlife, treatment of injured animals due mainly to human wildlife conflict or poaching, and translocations to manage wildlife populations in habitats. I also support research groups in wildlife health for disease outbreak investigation and surveillance whilst collecting wildlife samples for research.

Now having launched the Meru Mobile Veterinary Unit in February 2013, I have the exciting opportunity to work as the unit’s team leader and head field veterinary officer. The unit which is financed by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, with generous support from a private donor, provides wildlife veterinary interventions in the larger Meru National Park as well as wildlife dispersal areas in the eastern and northern conservation areas of Kenya. I derive great satisfaction in contributing to save wildlife species for our future generations and I am eager to make a difference to the wildlife of this area.

Dr. Michael Ngatho Njoroge

I was born on 15th June 1976 in Nyeri county of Central Province, my home is in Naromoru which is at the climbing base of Kenya’s highest mountain (Mt. Kenya).

My schooling began in Nyeri Primary School back in 1983 before I proceeded to Nyeri High School in 1992 for my O levels and left the school in 1995 after completion of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). I joined the University of Nairobi in 1997 and successfully completed my Bachelors of Veterinary Medicine in 2002.

My work started as an intern veterinarian at Kenchic Limited, a private company dealing with large scale breeding and sale of chickens, broilers and layers within the East Africa region. My responsibilities were vaccinations, advice to contract farmers, disease surveillance and quality supervision at every level of production.

In the year 2004 I was employed by the Kenya Government as the Chief Veterinarian of the Kenya Police Dog Unit, My responsibilities included dog breeding, ensuring good health of police dogs and other routine management programs.

Having managed the veterinary dog unit diligently for 6 years I was later redeployed to the Anti- Stock Theft Unit under the Kenya Police and took charge as the Chief Veterinarian at the mounted wing. My responsibilities included equine breeding, vaccinations and health routine management practices.

In the year 2011 my love for animals and passion to work in the wildlife sector saw my entry into the Kenya Wildlife Service in the Veterinary Department as a Field Veterinary Officer. At the KWS I found my work very interesting and satisfying. Unlike the normal routine duties while working with dog and horses, the scenarios are unpredictable thus making my work very exciting. The vigorous training I got from the police ensured a smooth transition and quick adaption into my new job and tasks.

On 30th April 2014, the Amboseli Mobile Veterinary Unit was launched at the Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarters. I was nominated to head the unit which is based within Amboseli National Park and covers the vast Southern Conservation Area namely – the Chyulu Hills, Amboseli, Tsavo West, Taveta and Namanga.

The unit is funded by The Samuel J. and Ethel Le Frak Charitable Trust through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and kicked off on the 1st May 2014. The unit is critical in prompt and immediate response to wildlife cases such as injuries from fights, human-animal conflicts, snares, disease outbreak investigation and surveillance within the Southern Conservation Area ecosystem and the neighboring regions. Working as a wildlife veterinarian is challenging but it gives a lot of satisfaction when you save a life and ensure our national heritage is preserved.

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