THE TSAVO MOBILE VETERINARY UNIT
REPORT FOR - April 2010

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Introduction 

The month of April has not been a busy one for the unit due to the onset of long rains which have ensured that there is a lot of forage within the park borders hence availability of feed for most herbivores, this coupled with plenty of crop harvest for the surrounding communities have led to decreased conflicts between the wild animals and humans.

The unit also witnessed the transfer of the previous veterinary surgeon, Dr. David Ndeereh to the veterinary department at the Kenya Wildlife Service headquarters, Nairobi and was replaced by the current veterinarian from the headquarters. 

Veterinary interventions carried out in the month of April include treatment of an injured young female elephant (raised by the sheldricks Trust) near Tsavo east park headquarters with the injury likely to have been caused by an arrow and the rescue of a 5 month old lion cub near Ngutuni hill, suspected injured by rival male trying to establish itself in the area.

Rescue of an abandoned lion club in Ngutuni Hill within Tsavo East  

A report of an abandoned lion cub was received in the unit from tour van drivers after they sited the young and scared animal alone near Ngutuni hill within Tsavo east National Park. Several attempts were made to try and capture the cub in vain.

Darting was done using 60 mgs of ketamine mixed with 60 mgs of xylazine in the same 11/2 cc dan inject dart.

The cub had a penetrating wound on the left shoulder which was cleaned and opticlox applied and 4 cc of amoxicillin injected parenterally.

The young cub before capture  The immobilized cub

The immobilized cub is carried to the car

The cub had a wound on the left shoulder  The young cub ready to be transported to Nairobi

The cub was placed in a cage and finally taken to Nairobi orphanage after being monitored for two days. Prognosis is favorable as the injury did not affect the vital organs in the body and the tender age healing advantage.

Treatment of an injured female elephant in Tsavo East National Park. 

Irima is one of the elephants raised through DWST project after being rescued near the park headquarters and was moved to Nairobi orphanage before being re-integrated back to the wild about two years ago at the age of seven years.

This young male elephant seems to be prone to injuries as another treatment was done early last year of a wound caused by an arrow.

Immobilization and treatment  

The elephant was darted from a vehicle using 14 mgs of etorphine mixed with 1000 i.u of hyalase in a 2cc dan inject dart and it took  7 minutes for it to become recumbent.

The eyes were covered and the maggot infested wound was cleaned using a mixture of 1:1 hydrogen peroxide and water. After cleaning, iodine was applied and oxytetracycline sprayed on the site.

Irima is immobilized  The wound before it is cleaned

Cleaning the wound  Disinfecting the wound

Irima gets to his feet

Parenteral omyxicillin and multivitamin was also administered.

Anesthesia revival 

After treatment the anesthesia was revived using 48 mgs of diprenorphine hydrochloride administered intravenously through the superficial ear vein. Within a minute elephant was up.

Prognosis is good for the wound but Irima seems to sustain injuries often probably due to farm raids.

The unit also did a post mortem on a leopard that was killed by Kenya wildlife Rangers after straying to the neighboring Voi town and attacking people. 3 members of the local community were injured in the incident and a K.W.S ranger. 

Conclusion

During the month not many cases were witnessed as the long rains are currently on. The following moths are expected to be calm with minimal cases. 

The unit acknowledges the critical support of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) towards the attainment of the unit’s goals in the areas under its jurisdiction of Tsavo East and West, Amboseli and the coast region.

Report by: Dr. Jeremiah Poghon

The Mobile Veterinary Unit operated by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust working with The Kenyah Wildlife Service and funded by Vier Pfoten

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