THE TSAVO MOBILE VETERINARY UNIT
REPORT FOR - September 2014

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FIELD VETERINARY REPORT FOR TSAVO MOBILE VET UNIT FOR THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER 2014

INTRODUCTION:

The Month of September witnessed a big increase in the number wildlife treated as compared to previous months of the year. Case increase was mainly observed in elephant bulls injured by use of arrow shots in unsuccessful poaching attempts. The drastic increase is associated with the dry spell that forces wildlife to travel for long distances and sometimes outside the park in search of water and forage. Many of the injuries reported occurred in Satao, Aruba and Ithumba areas and involved mainly huge bulls. During the Month an elephant orphan was euthanized after sustaining a grievous injury from Hyena attack at the Ithumba stockade and a lioness was collared in Kuku ranch to aid in human-wildlife conflict. Rains are expected soon and vet case load expected to decrease as more wildlife utilise more the secure boundaries within the park.

 

Case #1: Treatment of an elephant bull

This report describes case intervention of a male elephant at Satao area - Tsavo East National Park. These cases were attended on Sky Vet initiative.

Date: 1st September 2014

Species: African Elephant (Savannah elephant)

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Satao area - Tsavo East National Park

History:

This elephant was living in a family of 7 males.

Immobilization:

Etorphine Hcl(0.98%) (M99®) (Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) 18mg, in a 3 ml Dan - inject dart was prepared. Helicopter darting was carried out. The first dart bounced off. We decided to do vehicle darting which worked well. Using a Dan inject® dart rifle (Dan-inject APS, Sellerup Skovvej, Denmark) the elephant was darted; he was immobilized after 10 minutes.

Examination and Wounds management:

The elephant had sustained a penetrating wound with sharp edges made by an arrow head which had dislodged off. This suppurative wound was cleaned and lavaged with copious amounts of water and tincture iodine to remove pus and mud, and then liberally lavaged with dilute hydrogen peroxide. Oxytetracycline spray (Alamycin® spray) (Norbrook Laboratories Ireland) was also applied. The wound was also covered with green clay to promote faster healing. The elephant was injected with Oxytetracycline 20000mg (Alamycin® LA 20%Norbrook Laboratories Ireland) i.m

Animal care during anaesthesia:

Animal was doused with plenty of water and the eye covered with the use of the bulls ear.

Reversal of anaesthesia:

Using 60mg of diprenorphine Hcl (Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) given IV at the ear vein the animal was reversed from anesthesia, (a ¼ of the dose was given i.m). We assisted the elephant to stand up. Recovery was good.

 

Case #2: Treatment of an injured elephant bull

This is a second case handled by the Skyvet initiative.

Date: 1st September 2014

Species: African Elephant (Savannah elephant)

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Satao area - Tsavo East National Park

History:

This elephant was living in a large family. We followed this elephant to a water hole.

Immobilization:

Etorphine Hcl(0.98%) (M99®) (Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) 18mg, in a 3 ml Dan - inject dart was prepared. Helicopter darting was carried out. Using a Dan inject® dart rifle (Dan-inject APS, Sellerup Skovvej, Denmark) the elephant was darted; he was immobilized after 10 minutes.

Examination and Wounds management:

Examination of elephant showed a huge swelling filled with pus on the left flank extending from the side to the inguinal area. The abscess was lanced and drained. The suppurative mass was cleaned and lavaged with copious amounts of water and tincture iodine to remove pus and then liberally lavaged with dilute hydrogen peroxide. The cavity was also lavaged with i.v fluids (Normal Saline and Ringers Lactate solution) Oxytetracycline spray (Alamycin® spray) (Norbrook Laboratories Ireland) was also applied. The surgical wounds were also covered with green clay to promote faster healing. The elephant was injected with the following,

  1. Amoxicillin Trihydrate BP 30000mg (Betamox® LA Norbrook Laboratories Ireland) i.m
  2. Flunixin meglumine 2500mg ((Norbrook Laboratories Ireland)) i.m

Animal care during anaesthesia:

Animal was doused with plenty of water and the eye covered with the pinna of the ear.

Reversal of anaesthesia:

Using 60mg of diprenorphine Hcl (Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) given IV at the ear vein the animal was reversed from anaesthesia, (a ¼ of the dose was given i.m). Recovery from anaesthesia was smooth and he limped away from the site.

Prognosis of the case:

Guarded

 

Case #3: Treatment of an elephant bull

Date: 5th September

Species: Loxodanta Africana (African elephant)

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Power line, Tsavo east

History: The elephant was spotted with fresh arrow wound on the side of the body by DSWT aeroplane near Aruba-sala road adjacent to the power line.

Immobilization:

Etorphine Hcl(0.98%) (M99®) (Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) 18mg, in a 3 ml Dan - inject dart was prepared. Helicopter darting was carried out. Using a Dan inject® dart rifle the elephant was darted; he was immobilized after 10 minutes.

Examination and Wounds management:

The protruding arrow head was removed and the fresh wound cleaned using water mixed with hydrogen peroxide. Oxytetracycline spray (Alamycin® spray) (Norbrook Laboratories Ireland) was also applied. The surgical wounds were also covered with green clay to promote faster healing.

The wounded elephant  Treating the elephant

Cleaning the wound

The elephant was injected with the following,

  1. Amoxicillin Trihydrate BP 30000mg (Betamox® LA Norbrook Laboratories Ireland) i.m

And colvasone (Dexamethasone) administered i.v

Reversal and prognosis:

The anaesthesia was reversed using 54 mgs of diprenorphine administered i.v in the ear vein. Prognosis given was good.

After removing the arrow  Closing up the wound

The elephant waking up

    

Case #4: Treatment of an injured elephant

Date: 5th September

Species: Loxodanta Africana (African elephant)

Sex: Female

Age: Adult

Location: Power line, Tsavo east

History:

The elephant cow was spotted few minutes after the bull was treated with a big wound on the side of the stomach and pus dripping out. Immediately preparation to treat was mobilized

Immobilization:

Etorphine Hcl(0.98%) (M99®) (Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) 16mg, in a 1.5 ml Dan - inject dart was prepared. Helicopter darting was carried out. Using a Dan inject® dart rifle the elephant was darted and immobilized after 8 minutes.

The wounded elephant  Cutting away dead skin on the wound

The wound

Examination and Wounds management:

The septic wound was cleaned using water mixed with hydrogen peroxide. Oxytetracycline spray (Alamycin® spray) (Norbrook Laboratories Ireland) was also applied. The surgical wounds were also covered with green clay to promote faster healing. The elephant was injected with the following Amoxicillin Trihydrate BP 30000mg (Betamox® LA Norbrook Laboratories Ireland) i.m

and colvasone (Dexamethasone) administered i.v.

Reversal and prognosis:

48 mgs of diprenorphine was used to reverse the anaesthesia and the elephant woke up on its own. Prognosis is good.

cleaning the wound after treatment  After treatment

The elephants wound after treatment

 

Case #5: Treatment of an injured elephant

Date: 5th September

Species: Loxodanta Africana (African elephant)

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Aruba area

History:

The elephant was spotted near Aruba dam along Voi River with fresh blood dripping from the ramp area. The huge bull was suspected to have been hit with an arrow. The team moved in swiftly and drugs were prepared for chopper darting.

Immobilization:

Etorphine Hcl(0.98%) (M99®) (Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) 18mg, in a 1.5 ml Dan - inject dart was prepared. Helicopter darting was carried out. Using a Dan inject® dart system the elephant was darted and was immobilized after 9 minutes.

The elephant after being sedated  After sedation

Examining the cut supposedly made my an arrow

Examination and Wounds management:

The wounded area was examined and a sharp cut wound suspected to be caused by an arrow shot was seen. Surgical exploratory didn’t reveal the deep seated arrow head. The wound was cleaned with hydrogen peroxide and iodine applied.  The elephant was injected with the following Amoxicillin Trihydrate BP 30000mg (Betamox® LA Norbrook Laboratories Ireland) i.m

and colvasone (Dexamethasone) administered i.v. Close monitoring was advised.

Reversal:

The anaesthesia was reversed using 24 mgs of diprenorphine mixed with 25 mg of naltrexone and the elephant woke up well.

Treating the wound  Reviving the elephant

The elephant waking up

 

Case #6: Translocation of a problematic elephant from Manyani to Aberdare National parks.

Date: 6th September

Species: Loxodanta Africana (African elephant)

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Manyani in Tsavo west to Aberdare national park.

History:

The young bull has been causing a lot of problems at the Manyani law enforcement academy and had been previously moved to Mzima springs but returned few days later. A team from Nairobi teamed up with the unit in the operation.

Immobilization:

Etorphine Hcl (M99®) (Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) 16mg, in a 1.5 ml Dan – inject dart was used to immobilize the elephant by use of a helicopter. The elephant was immobilized after 8 minutes after being driven near an open area by the chopper.

Keeping the elephant cool in the hot climate  Examining the elephant

Treating the elephant

Loading and translocation:

A self loading truck was used to lower the elephant crate to the ground and the elephant loaded into the container while immobilized before he was revived while in the crate. Finally the crane attached to the truck was used to lift the crate loaded with the elephant onto the back of the truck ready for transport.

Revival:

The anaesthesia was reversed using 48 mgs of diprenorphine injected intravenously. 50 mgs of azaperone was also administered to calm down the elephant while on transit. The team from Nairobi left and successfully released the elephant in Aberdare National Park.

Continuation in treatment  Reviving the elephant

Assuring the elephant is well before it awakes

 

Case #7: Treatment of injured elephant bull

Date: 8th September

Species: Loxodanta Africana (African elephant)

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Satao, Tsavo east

History:

Several huge elephant bulls were sited within Satao area of Tsavo east with arrow wound injuries. The vet team together with two aircrafts that included a helicopter descended in the area and after a shot search several of the candidates were spotted.

Immobilization:

Etorphine Hcl (M99®) (Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) 18mg, in a 1.5 ml Dan – inject dart was used to immobilize the elephant by use of a helicopter. The elephant was immobilized in 7 minutes.

Examination and Treatment:

The wounded are was examined and found to be healing leaving a scar on the left flank and didn’t require much attention. Dexamethasone was administered.

Reversal was by use of 60 mgs of diprenorphine Hcl in the ear vein.

After sedating the bull  Keeping the bull cool

After examining the elephant

 

Case #8: Treatment of an elephant bull

Date: 8th September

Species: Loxodanta Africana (African elephant)

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Satao, Tsavo east

History:

Several huge elephant bulls were sited within Satao area of Tsavo east with arrow wound injuries. The vet team together with two aircrafts that included a helicopter descended in the area and after a shot search several of the candidates were spotted.

Immobilization:

Etorphine Hcl (M99®) (Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) 18mg, in a 1.5 ml Dan – inject dart was used to immobilize the elephant by use of a helicopter. The elephant was immobilized in 8 minutes.

Examination and Treatment:

The wound was examined and found to be on the right side of the stomach and was on the process of healing. The suspected arrow wound was cleaned using hydrogen peroxide mixed with water and doused with tincture of iodine.  Dexamethasone was administered intravenously.Reversal was by use of 60mgs of Diprenorphine Hcl in the ear of the elephant.

Keeping the elephant cool by applying water  Examining the elephant

examining the wound  Treating the wound

After treatment  Reviving the elephant

 

Case #9: Treatment of an elephant bull

Date: 8th September

Species: Loxodanta Africana (African elephant)

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Satao, Tsavo east

History:

Several huge elephant bulls were sited within Satao area of Tsavo east with arrow wound injuries. The vet team together with two aircrafts that included a helicopter descended in the area and after a shot search several of the candidates were spotted.

Examining the elephant  Removing of dead tissue

Dead tissue removed

Immobilization:

Etorphine Hcl (M99®) (Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) 18mg, in a 1.5 ml Dan – inject dart was used to immobilize the elephant by use of a helicopter. The elephant was immobilized in 12 minutes.

Examination and Treatment:

There was a wound on the left hind limb near the ramp with a second wound at the left inguinal area. The wound were enlarged and necrotic tissues mixed with pus removed from under. The cavity left behind by dead tissues was cleaned using hydrogen peroxide mixed with water, doused with tincture of iodine and covered with green clay. Long acting Amoxicillin and Dexamethasone administered parenterally.

Anaesthesia reversal:

Reversed by administration of 60 mgs of diprenorphine hcl administered intravenously through the ear vein.

cleaning the wound  Applying green clay

Treating a small wound on the elephants leg

 

Case #10: Treatment of an injured elephant bull

Date: 8th September

Species: Loxodanta Africana (African elephant)

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Satao, Tsavo east

History:

Several huge elephant bulls were sited within satao area of Tsavo east with arrow wound injuries. The vet team together with two aircrafts that included a helicopter descended in the area and after a shot search several of the candidates were spotted.

Immobilization:

Etorphine Hcl (M99®) (Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) 18mg, in a 1.5 ml Dan – inject dart was used to immobilize the elephant by use of a helicopter. The elephant was immobilized in 10 minutes.

After sedating the Elephant  Keeping the bull cool

Treating the elephants wound

Examination and Treatment:

There was a wound was on the upper part of the left hind limb on the lateral aspect. The wound was oozing pus but not swollen. The wound was cleaned using hydrogen peroxide mixed with water and doused with tincture of iodine. Wetted green clay was used to cover the wound. Long acting antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs were administered parenterally.

Anaesthetic reversal:

Reversed by administration of 60 mgs of diprenorphine hcl administered intravenously through the ear vein.

cleaning the wound  Cleaning the elephants wound

After treatment on the wound

    

Case #11: Clinical assessment of an orphan attacked by Hyenas

Date: 10th September

Species: Loxodanta Africana (African elephant)

Sex: Male

Age: Young

Location: Ithumba stockades

History:

The young elephant orphan was reported to have been attacked by hyenas near Ithumba stockades and rescued by the stockade staff. The vet was airlifted to Ithumba from Voi.

After the mauling  The damage done by the hyenas

Hyena bites on the orphan elephant

Examination and management:

The general exam revealed an emaciated young elephant with body score of 2/5. He was already recumbent and several attempts to lift him up proved futile. Mucous membranes were pale with very cold extremities a sign of massive blood loss. The perineal area had a huge lucerations caused by Hyena attacks. 2 mgs of etorphine were injected intravenously to reduce pain. The prognosis of healing being very poor, a decision euthanize was made to end his suffering.

The depth of the hyena bites  Sabachi our orhan elephant

RIP Sabachi

 

Case #12: Treatment of an injured elephant bull

Date: 12th September

Species: Loxodanta Africana (African elephant)

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Ithumba

History:

The big bull was seen foraging near Ithumba offices together with former orphans with an arrow wound on the left side of the abdominal wall. Being in a group of friendly former orphans, darting was easy.

Immobilization:

Etorphine Hcl (M99®) (Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) 18mg, in a 1.5 ml Dan – inject dart was used to immobilize the elephant on foot. The elephant was immobilized in 11 minutes.

The wounded elephant  Examining the elephant

Treating the elephants wound

Examination and Treatment:

The elephant fell on sternal recumbency and was blocked by a tree on one side and a ditch on the other. A decision to attend to him and reverse the anaesthesia fast was the most feasible. The arrow head was removed quickly and wound cleaned and tincture of iodine applied.

Anaesthesia reversal:

Quick reversed by administration of 24 mgs of diprenorphine and 25 mgs of naltrexone both intravenous.

Reviving the elephant  The elephant waking up

The elephant walking away

 

Case #13: Treatment of two security dogs in Ithumba

Date: 12th September

Species: Canine

Sex: Male and female

Age: Adult

Location: Ithumba, Tsavo east

History:

The two dogs had been reported sick with the male manifesting signs of orchitis externa and the bitch with impaction and difficulty in passing stool.

Examination and treatment:

General examination confirmed the diagnosis and treatment was immediately instituted. The case with orchitis was treated with 4 cc of long acting Amoxicillin and 5 cc of dexamethasone both administered intra muscularly. The case with impaction was given 10 cc of liquid paraffin after meals. Both cases responded well.

 

Case #14: Treatment of an injured elephant bull

Date: 15th September

Species: Loxodanta Africana (African elephant)

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Satao-kulalu area, Tsavo east

History:

Several huge elephant bulls were sited within satao area of Tsavo east with arrow wound injuries. The vet team together with two aircrafts that included a helicopter returned to the area and after a shot search several injured elephants were spotted. This huge tusker had an injury on the left hind leg and was in a group of 7 other huge bulls.

After sedating the Elephant  The elephants wound

Treating the wound

Immobilization:

Etorphine Hcl (M99®) (Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) 18mg, in a 1.5 ml Dan – inject dart was used to immobilize the elephant by use of a helicopter. The elephant was immobilized in 10 minutes.

Examination and Treatment:

There was a wound was on the upper part of the left thoracic cage. The wound was oozing pus but and slightly swollen. The wound was cleaned using hydrogen peroxide mixed with water and doused with tincture of iodine. Wetted green clay was used to cover the wound. Long acting antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs were administered parenterally.

Anaesthetic reversal:

Reversed by administration of 60 mgs of diprenorphine hcl administered intravenously through the ear vein.

Removal of arrow  Cleaning the elephants wound

After treating the elephants wound

 

Case #15: Treatment of an elephant bull

Date: 15th September

Species: Loxodanta Africana (African elephant)

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Voi River near Satao, Tsavo east

History:

Several huge elephant bulls were sited within Satao area of Tsavo east with arrow wound injuries. The vet team together with two aircrafts that included a helicopter returned to the area and after a shot search several injured elephants were spotted.

After sedating the Elephant  Examining the elephant

Treating the elephants wound

Immobilization:

Etorphine Hcl (M99®) (Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) 18mg, in a 1.5 ml Dan – inject dart was used to immobilize the elephant by use of a helicopter. The elephant was immobilized in 10 minutes.

Examination and Treatment:

There was a wound on the upper part of the right thigh. The wound was reddish and appeared fresh but closer examination revealed a growth. The growth was cut off and the wound was cleaned using hydrogen peroxide mixed with water and doused with tincture of iodine. Wetted green clay was used to cover the wound. Long acting antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs were administered parenterally. The huge bull is one of the iconic big tuskers still remaining in Tsavo conservation area.

Anaesthetic reversal:

Reversed by administration of 60 mgs of diprenorphine hcl administered intravenously through the ear vein.

Treating the wound  Cleaning the elephants wound

The elephants wound

 

Case #16: Translocation of a buffalo

Date: 17th September

Species: African buffalo (Syncerfus caffer)

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Komboyo to Tsavo River (Rhodesia) in Tsavo west

History:

The adult female buffalo was moved from Nairobi orphanage due to congestion at the facility. The two Buffaloes were translocated and released near Komboyo park headquarters and one of them entered the park headquarters compound and become a threat to staff and families residing in the park and had to be moved.

Darting the Buffalo  After darting the Buffalo

The buffalo falling to the  ground

Immobilization and transport:

The buffalo was immobilized using 7 mgs of Etorphine mixed with 60 mgs of Xylazine hydrochloride and went down in 12 minutes. An animal stretcher was used to load the buffalo unto a land cruiser pickup and transported to Rhodesia area along Tsavo River where it was offloaded and given antibiotic and multivitamin covers before anaesthesia reversal.

Anaesthetic reversal:

Anaesthesia was reversed by injection of 24 mgs of Diprenorphine hcl and 2.5 mgs of Atipemazole hcl administered intravenously via the jugular vein.

Preparing the Buffalo to be translocated  Moving the Buffalo into the vehicle

The Buffalo in the vehicle

 

Case #17: Treatment of a piglet

Date: 22nd September

Species: Warthog

Sex: Male

Age: Piglet

Location: Park headquarters, Tsavo east

History:

The warthog piglet was rescued after sustaining deep puncture wound from an attack by eagle predators near Galana ranch east of Tsavo east national park. The piglet was feeding well on milk.

Examination and treatment:

The piglet had deep cut wounds on both sides of the shoulder caused by Eagle claws. The wounds were washed with normal saline and crystalline penicillin splashed. Nylon sutures were used to close the wounds using an interrupted suture pattern. Anti inflammatory and antibiotics were also administered.

Stitching up the piglet  Piglet getting stitches

Finishing treatment on the piglet  Treating the wound

Feeding the piglet  The piglet recovering after getting stitches

 

Case #18: Rescue of a sickly elephant calf

Date: 22nd September

Species: Loxodanta Africana (African elephant)

Sex: Female

Age: Calf about 3 years old.

Location:  Ngutuni, Tsavo east

History:

The young elephant was reported being recumbent near a water hole along Mzima pipeline by Ngutuni lodge staff. She was unable to wake up let alone move.

Immobilization and transport:

The elephant was immobilized by injection of 2 mgs of etorphine hcl into the ear vein. Lots of water was used to cool her. The body condition was estimated at 2/5 as muscle wasting was evident.  The calf was loaded onto a truck and taken to Voi stockade for further medical attention. Intravenous dextrose solution managed to stabilise the calf upon arrival at the stockade. She succumbed two days later and the diagnosis was given as starvation. Cases of mortalities in young calves that are no longer suckling occur often in the parks especially during the dry season when forage and water is scarce.

The unable to move elephant  The ill elephant

The elephant unable to stand  Sick elephant

Thin elephant  The sick elephant whom later passed away

 

Case #19: Lion collaring exercise

Date: 27th September

Species: Lioness (Panthera leo)

Sex: Female

Age: Adult (6 years)

Location: Kuku ranch (Maasai wilderness conservation trust

History:

Kuku ranch is an expansive community land belonging to the Maasai community located west of Tsavo west national park and also bordering Chyulu national park and Mbirikani group ranch. It forms part of the Tsavo-Amboseli ecosystem with abundant wildlife species including lions. The maasai being pastoralists where they keep livestock as the main economic activity, conflict with wildlife especially predators is a major problem. The maasai wilderness conservation trust (MWCT) came with a programme to collar some lions with satellite linked collars in order to monitor the movements and mitigate of the predation problem.

After sedating the lion  Treating the lion for a few wounds visable

Putting the collar on the lion

Immobilization and collaring:

The exercise was undertaken at night unsuccessfully through call ups for two days. On third day a pride spotted near kuku plains and immobilization was using 300mgs of Ketamine Hcl mixed with 4 mgs of meditomidine hcl. A repeat dart was used to ensure effective anaesthesia is achieved. Several samples were taken including blood and tissue samples and the collar well fitted and mounted around the neck with screws. Antibiotic and multivitamins were administered as cover.

Anaesthesia reversal:

2.5 mgs of Atipemazole Hcl was injected intramuscularly and a team left to keep watch until the lioness wakes up.

Taking details about the lion for research  After putting the collar on the lion

The team who helped with the lion collaring

   

Case #20: Treatment of an elephant

Date: 30th September

Species: Loxodanta Africana (African elephant)

Sex: Female

Age: Young (about 5 years old)

Location: Lualenyi ranch in Taita ranches

History:

The young elephant cow was reported to be lame with a swollen front leg near Lualenyi ranch with the Taita ranches.

Immobilization and Treatment:

Etorphine Hcl (M99®) (Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) 12 mgs, in a 1.5 ml Dan – inject dart was used to immobilize the elephant. The elephant was immobilized in 6 minutes.

After sedating the Elephant  The injured elephant

Examining the elephants foot

Examination and Treatment:

There was a clear snare wound around the right front leg few inches from the foot. The wound was cleaned using hydrogen peroxide mixed with water and doused with tincture of iodine. Wetted green clay was used to cover the wound. Long acting antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs were administered parenterally. Green clay was used to cover the wounded site.

Anaesthetic reversal:

24 mgs of Diprenorphine mixed with 25mgs of Naltrexone administered intravenously through the ear vein.

Treating the elephants foot  After treatment

The elephant waking up

    

Case #21: Treatment of injured elephant bull

Date: 30th September

Species: Loxodanta Africana (African elephant)

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Lualenyi ranch in Taita ranches

History:

The elephant bull was seen limping nearby after the treatment of young female nearby in Lualenyi ranch. It is suspected to have been shot with a bullet and walked with a lot of pain.

Immobilization and Treatment:

Etorphine Hcl (M99®) (Norvatis South Africa (Pty) Ltd) 18 mgs, in a 1.5 ml Dan – inject dart was used to immobilize the elephant. The elephant was immobilized in 7 minutes.

Keeping the elephant cool by applying water  The elephants wound

Treating the elephants wound

Examination and Treatment:

The area around the left shoulder joint had an open penetrating wound. On probing the wound was deep and affected the shoulder joint near the humero-scapula area. The wound was cleaned using normaline saline and doused with tincture of iodine. Oxytetracycline spray was sprayed and covered with green clay. Long acting Amoxicillin antibiotic and dexamethose injected to reduce inflammation and bacterial infection.

Anaesthetic reversal:

24 mgs of Diprenorphine mixed with 25mgs of Naltrexone administered intravenously through the ear vein.

Treating the wound  After treating the elephant

Reviving the elephant

     Other cases reported

  1. An elephant calf was rescued from Satao area on 3rd September and airlifted to Voi stockade for care.

 

  1. A week old elephant calf was rescued near Mzima pipeline area of Tsavo east after falling into a deep water hole and taken to Nairobi orphanage.

 

  1. Two other elephant bulls were treated in Satao area of Tsavo east on 23rd September by the Amboseli vet unit

 

Conclusion and acknowledgement

Cases of arrow injuries especially in elephant bulls have increased tremendously due to the dry spell that forced many animals to venture far and wide. The arrow poaching attempts are serious threats to the lives of the huge bulls in the ecosystem. Each case of treatment in attempted poaching incidence is promptly reported to the security teams for follow up. The unit will continue responding to cases as they are reported in the region.

The unit would like to appreciate the support of its sponsors ViER PFOTEN through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) for their continued support that has enabled us respond promptly to wildlife vet reports. The addition of aircraft especially the helicopter has greatly improved the response time.  We also thank Kenya Wildlife Service through the Assistant director Tsavo conservation area and the head, veterinary and capture services department for their support. Lastly I would like to thank the skyvet team in Nairobi and the Amboseli vet unit for their assistance while the unit was away

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