Treatment of an injured elephant in Galana Ranch conservancy near Tsavo East National Park 22nd May 2011. A sick elephant that survived a poaching attempt was reported around Galana River with signs of pain in the abdominal cavity. Another dead poached carcass lay a few hundred meters away. The team rushed in to save his life and several attempts were made to scare it out from the River but he stood his ground inside a small island surrounded by water infested with the Nile crocodiles and hippos. Several attempts proved futile and the exercise was aborted till the next day. Immobilization and Treatment Darting was done using etorphine filled dan injects system and the dart landed on the rump area. It took five minutes for the elephant to be fully immobilized. The wound was a typical puncture wound caused by high velocity trajectory with a clear entry and exit areas on opposite sides of the body. The wounds were cleaned with antiseptics and antimicrobial agents administered. Injectable antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs were administered. The elephant was rolled and the exit wound was also treated. On revival the elephant had difficulty waking up and it had to be assisted onto its feet by use of a rope tied on the tusks and pulled by a land cruiser. On coming to its feet it charged into one of the security vehicle and luckily no one was hurt!
Desnaring of an adult female water buck in Tsavo East National Park headquarters 31st May. Snaring is a common phenomenon along the fence line adjacent to Voi area where several snares are removed quite often by the desnaring team. The snares are meant for the small antelopes i.e. Impala, waterbuck, Dik dik and others for purpose of bush meat. The female waterbuck was seen wondering around with a loose wire on the neck. It was quickly immobilized and the wire removed. Antibiotic cover was also administered.
Conclusion & acknowledgements A case of an elephant treated last month in Ngulia Rhino valley succumbed to its wound, the rest that were treated in the month of April are doing great. We anticipate a dry spell between now and September hence possible rise in number of cases. We acknowledge the immense support from our sponsors VIER PFOTEN through The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust who continue to fund the unit despite the ever rising costs of fuel and drugs. We also thank The Kenya Wildlife Service through the Head of Veterinary and capture services and the Assistant director Tsavo conservation area. 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