THE MERU MOBILE VETERINARY UNIT
REPORT FOR - August 2015

| Return to the Field Report List | View Printable Report |

EASTERN CONSERVATION AREA VETERINARY UNIT MONTHLY REPORT AUGUST 2015

Report by: Bernard Rono

SUMMARY

This report describes the activities of the Meru veterinary unit in August 2015. Northern Kenya remained dry and windy in the month under review causing severe stress to wildlife due to scarce water and pasture resources.

In Mpala ranch an elephant bull suffered debilitating gunshot wounds to its leg caused by suspected poachers. In Milgis an elephant was treated for chronic emaciation. Other cases attended are described below.

CASE #1 RETREATMENT AND EUTHANISA OF AN ELEPHANT WITH BULLET WOUND

Date: 7th August 2015

Species: African elephant

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Mpala ranch, Laikipia

History

This was a review of an elephant showing severe lameness in Mpala ranch. It was first observed on 26th July 2015. Wildlife rangers from Mpala ranch reported that there had been no significant improvement after two weeks monitoring. The Veterinary Team decided to immobilize the elephant to examine the cause of lameness.

Immobilization and mangement

Immobilization was achieved using 20mg Etorphine in a single 3cc Dan-inject dart from a vehicle with the dart placed at the gluteal muscles. The elephant went down in 8 minutes lying on right lateral recumbency.

An elephant is retreated for a bullet wound  The elephant is darted for treatment and assessment

Examination showed a penetrating wound to the left hind leg thought to have been caused by a bullet. The entry point was identified at the caudal part of the leg with suspected fracture of the tibia bone. Bone fractures caused by bullets in elephants have a poor prognosis due to the massive weight which makes it difficult to fix the bone. In this case a high dose of injectable antibiotic Betamox with a corticosteroid Dexamethasone was administered. The team recommended further observation of this elephant.

The bullet wound  The wound is treated but prognosis is poor

On 20th August, the team reviewed this case again after reports that its health had deteriorated due to septicemia. This elephant also had difficulty accessing adequate nutritious feed and water leading to a loss of body condition. Considering the welfare and quality of life of this elephant, euthanasia was the only option. Both tusks were retrieved and kept under custody of the area senior warden.

The elephant gets up after treatment  Monitoring is recommending for this elephant

CASE #2: TREATMENT OF AN INJURED ELEPHANT IN MT. KENYA

Date: 7th August 2015

Species: African elephant

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Fairmont Lodge, Mt. Kenya national park

The Kenya wildlife service rangers reported on 5th August that this elephant had shown severe lameness of its right leg, however, it was difficult to determine the cause due to a thick forest in the area. They requested for veterinary assistance to examine the cause of lameness.

On 6th July the team visited the park following reports that the elephant had been seen that morning. However, the team was unable to access this area following heavy afternoon rains in Mt. Kenya. The team spent the night in Nanyuki and set off to Mawingu airstip the elephant was found  near the airstrip.

A brief examination showed that this elephant was in good body condition and lameness was attributed to a deformity of the right hind limb which may have occurred earlier in its life and had healed. No treatment was required in this case.

CASE # 3: TREATMENT OF A SICK ELEPHANT IN MILGIS

Date: 9th August 2015

Species: African elephant

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Ndoto mountains, Samburu north

History

Rangers from the Milgis Trust reported that this elephant had suffered poor body condition. It was confined for two weeks to an area in Ndoto mountain range along the Lengoba pere lugga where it could access feed and water. They requested for an assessment to determine the cause of illness and treat this sick elephant.

Immobilization, examination and treatment

Immobilization was achieved using 20mg Etorphine in a single 3cc Dan-inject dart from foot with the dart placed into the gluteal muscles. The elephant went down in 12 minutes with the elephant lying on sternal recumbency. He was tipped to right lateral recumbency to enable examination.

The elephant falls forward  after darting  The elephant is pushed onto its side for treatment

Physical examination showed that this elephant was emaciated; however, no external injury was seen despite reports of lameness by scouts. Emaciation was suspected to have been caused by an internal disease process.

For treatment the team administered antibiotics to treat bacterial infection and multivitamin injection.

Antibiotics are adminstered  It is assumed this elephant is suffering from internal disease

Prognosis

Prognosis for this case remains guarded because this is an old elephant. The scouts were asked to monitor this elephant and report on this case.

CASE # 4: INJURED LION IN MERU NATIONAL PARK

Date: 19th August 2015

Species: Lion

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Elsas Kopje, Meru national park

History

Tour guides from Elsas Kopje lodge reported that this lion had shown lameness and had a swollen left forelimb. They requested veterinary examination to determine the cause of lameness.

The lion was found in a pride of six consisting of five females and one male. A quick observation showed that lameness was caused by mild dislocation of the carpal joint which may have been sustained during hunting. This pride was reported to have had giraffe kill the previous day.

No treatment was required and the guides were asked to monitor this pride and report.

This lion is assessed but no treatment is required

TRAINING ON LARGE CARNIVORE CENSUS IN MERU NATIONAL PARK

This training aimed at equipping participants on field techniques for quantifying and monitoring trends and distribution of large carnivores in Meru national park. Participants were drawn from the KWS and Born Free foundation whereas facilitators included scientists from KWS. Training took place between 19th and 23rd August 2015.

Carnivore censuses are particularly difficult to conduct because some carnivore species are nocturnal while other species are cryptic. Data collection methods involved direct sighting and indirect methods such as spoor identification. Methods for data geo-referencing, mapping and analysis were discussed.

The actual census will take place in September 2015.

Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge the financial and logical support provided by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to enable treatment of injured wildlife.

| Return to the Field Report List | View Printable Report


Team Reports:

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust   P.O. Box 15555 Nairobi Kenya

Copyright 1999-2017, The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy