Examination of a sick Impala, Tsavo East 15th April The young Impala was brought into the unit exhibiting nervous signs and unable to stand up. The animal condition also appeared weak and poor. Blood samples were taken for microscopy but nothing was seen. Antibiotic cover and multivitamins were administered. It later succumbed the same day.
Search and management of a snared Rhino in Mukururo, Chyulu National Park, April 2013. Chyulu National Park is home to some of the last original populations of black Rhinos outside fenced sanctuaries. A male rhino was observed on photos taken on 15th March 2013 by a camera trap pulling a wire snare tightly wound around his neck and reported on 16th March 2013. The case was reported to the KWS Area Vet and a search was conducted by KWS and Big life teams based at Mukururo, Chyulu National Park. The search for the rhino continued for a non-stop 30 days with teams from the big life, KWS and assistance from the DSWT in hiring of a helicopter. On 19th April the rhino was found and immobilized but due to extensive damage caused by the snare on the neck muscles, he was euthanized. The wire snare had cut through the neck muscles to the cervical vertebrae.
Immobilization and euthanasia of an injured elephant cow in Mwaluganje sanctuary, Shimba hills. 24th April. Shimba hills National Park continues to experience elephant injuries mainly through snaring. The female cow with a grown up calf was spotted in a water hole limping and was immobilized using 16 mgs of etorphine propelled in a dan inject dart system. She went down in 5 minutes. The left front limb was necrotic from the knee downwards and the extremities were cold and cyanotic. Further examination revealed a dead limb from the knee downwards. The case was finally declared untreatable and euthanized.
Conclusion The Tsavo ecosystem is now lush green and conflict related cases are expected to reduce while poaching cases are thought to increase due to increased movement of elephants to areas where rainfall is heavy. The heavy vegetation growth also tends to aid poachers in concealing their activities from security personnel. Acknowledgement The unit would like to thank its sponsors ViER PFOTEN through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) for the continued support to the unit. We also thank Kenya Wildlife Service through the Head veterinary and capture services department and the senior assistant director Tsavo conservation area. Report by: Jeremiah Poghon