THE TSAVO MOBILE VETERINARY UNIT
REPORT FOR - April 2011

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INTRODUCTION

The month of April was relatively calm compared to the previous months mainly due to the prevailing green conditions which were boosted by scattered showers across the region ensuring adequate watering points.

In the month the unit was involved with treatment of several elephants who sustained arrow shots, examination of problematic leopards, autopsy of an ostrich carcass and rescue of a cheetah cub which was finally transported to the animal orphanage.

EXAMINATION OF A PROBLEMATIC LEOPARD IN TSAVO EAST NATIONAL PARK, 8TH APRIL.

The female adult leopard was finally trapped near Kiboko area north of Tsavo conservation area after preying on goats and sheep belonging to the local community.

She was brought to the research centre in Tsavo east then immobilized, examined and samples taken from it before he was finally treated and revived.

She was released along Galana River deep inside the park.

Anaesthetized leopard inside a cage  Anaesthetized leopard

Examination and sample taking

TREATMENTS OF AN INJURED ELEPHANT BULL AT LUALENYI RANCH, 9TH APRIL.

Lualenyi ranch continue to hit the headlines on cases of injuries mostly sustained through arrow shots. This critical dispersal area used both by livestock and wildlife is prone to wildlife attacks recording a case each month.

The elephant was spotted with lameness and visible wound on medial aspect of the front left limb.

Immobilization was done by use of etorphine alone in a dan inject system at 0215 PM and it went down at 0223 PM.

Loose dead skin and tissue parts were removed and the wound searched for foreign object in which a sharp arrow head was retrieved. The wound was thoroughly cleaned to remove pus and dead tissue debris. Antibiotic therapy was administered and the wound covered in green clay.

Examining the immobilized elephant  The wound before treatment

Retrieving the arrow head from the wound  The arrow head

The wound after it is cleaned and treated

The elephant was revived at 0256 Pm with no complications.

GPS 37 M 0410697

UTM     9603331

Prognosis

Good

AUTOPSY ON AN OSTRICH CARCASS, 10TH APRIL AT TSAVO EAST RESEARCH STATION.

The ostrich chicks were rescued after being abandoned in the park and raised at The David Sheldricks elephant stockades in Tsavo East National Park.

On the morning of 10th April one was found dead though they looked very healthy the previous night.

Autopsy

The carcass condition was very good but there were hemorrhagic enteritis in the small intestine. The mucosal surface was filled with bloody material mixed with little or no contents.

Autopsy on the dead ostrich

Tentative diagnosis

Hemorrhagic enteritis.

TREATMENT OF AN LAME ELEPHANT COW IN AMBOSELI, 11TH APRIL.

The lame walking elephant was reported with signs of a suspected sharp object lodged in the foot within Amboseli National Park.

Darting was by use of 16 mgs of etorphine propelled by a dan inject darting system.

On going down the eyes were covered and a thorough body examination was done which revealed apparently no injury whatsoever.

It’s thought that she might have been injured earlier in life and healed. She also resembled an elephant treated last year on 13th August 2010 where she was with a calf.

Anti inflammatory and antibiotics were administered and revived.

Keeping the immobilized elephant cool  Examining the elephant

The elephant after revival

She is expected to recover fully.

TREATMENTS OF A SICKLY LOOKING ELEPHANT BULL AT MBIRIKANI NEAR AMBOSELI PARK, 11TH APRIL.

Mbirikani is a community ranch with a rich population of wildlife especially during the rainy season when the park is mostly swampy.

The Elephant bull was observed to exhibit sluggish movements and unable to walk well.

It was immobilized and examined for injuries but no apparent injuries were found.

Anti inflammatory drugs were administered and then revived.

The injury seems to be a sprain on the ligaments and the joint.

Administering pain relieving drugs to the immobilized elephant

Administration of anti inflammatory drugs

RESCUE AND CARE OF A CHEETAH CUB AT TSAVO EAST PARK, 21ST APRIL.

The young female cheetah cub aged about 2 months was rescued from a person who was smuggling it at Taru trading centre along Nairobi-Mombassa road where he dropped the box containing the cheetah on being stopped.

The cub was in a poor body condition and looked dehydrated.

She was fed on glucose mixed in water to stables her system before being introduced to dilute cow milk. By the end of the day she was stable enough to be transported to Nairobi orphanage. She was moved the next day to Nairobi orphanage and well received. She got a new home plus two other friends rescued from northern Kenya.

The rescued cheetah  Giving a glucose drink to the cheetah

The young female cheetah cub

The unit also came to the rescue the community warden in Mutomo district in tracking and capturing a problematic lion who had lodged in Endau hills where he was launching attacks on community livestock so far killing 5 cattle, 3 donkeys and a goat.

 

Tracking of the lion proved unsuccessful and other methods are being looked into in order to remove the lion from the area.

Conclusion and acknowledgement

The unit will like to thank its sponsors VIER PFOTEN through The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for their continued great support to the unit which has ensured prompt response to suffering of wildlife in the region. We also acknowledge The Kenya Wildlife Service through the office of the assistant director Tsavo Conservation Area and The Head of Veterinary and Capture Services for their assistance to the unit.

Report by: 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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