THE MERU MOBILE VETERINARY UNIT
REPORT FOR - January 2016

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EASTERN CONSERVATION AREA VETERINARY UNIT MONTHLY REPORT JANUARY 2016

Report by: Bernard Rono, Veterinary Officer

SUMMARY

This report describes activities of the DWST/KWS Meru veterinary unit in January 2016. The team resumed duties as of the 18th January following their December leave. Northern Kenya received adequate rainfall in December, therefore vegetation and water sources are available in plenty.

We attended to injured elephants in Meru national park and Meibae conservancy in Samburu. A grevy zebra foal suffered a fracture in Wamba and in Laikipia 5 zebras were reported to have died from an unknown disease.

This veterinary unit is supported by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which has enabled treatment of injured wildlife in northern Kenya.

CASE #1: INJURED ELEPHANT IN MERU NATIONAL PARK

Date: 28th January 2016

Species: Elephant

Sex: Male

Age: Adult (25 years)

Location: Meru National park (MNP)

History

The wildlife monitoring team in MNP reported that this elephant bull had shown severe lameness and a swollen right hind leg. This animal was aggressive when approached. On 25/1/2016 an initial attempt by the KWS/DSWT Meru mobile veterinary unit to dart and examine the elephant by vehicle was futile after it ran into a thicket. Subsequent assessment by a helicopter on 28/1/2016 showed that this elephant had improved. There were no visible wounds and the swelling had reduced. Therefore no further intervention was required.

CASE # 2: ZEBRA DISEASE INVESTIGATION

Date: 29th January 2016

Species: Zebra x 5

Sex: Unknown

Age: Adult (25 years)

Location: Ol Malo Ranch, Laikipia

History

On 28/1/2016, the Meru mobile veterinary unit was alerted to a disease affecting common zebras in Sugumai area west of Ol Malo ranch. Five zebras were reported to have died from this disease while two were sick. Cattle and goats were also reported to have been affected by this condition which the local community referred to as ndis, (liver disease). Scouts from Samburu Trust reported that affected zebras showed alopecia around the mouth and terminal hemorrhage from the nose and mouth.

The team visited Ol malo area on 29 - 30/1/2016. All the carcasses had been cleared by scavengers and there was no trace of any sick animals to collect samples for disease diagnosis. Scouts were advised to report sick animals promptly to assist in diagnosis.

CASE # 3: EUTHANASIA OF A SPEARED ELEPHANT

Date: 31st January 2016

Species: Elephant

Sex: Female

Age: Adult (15 years)

Location: Lpus, near Meibae conservancy

History

On the 31/1/2016 rangers from Meibae conservancy reported that a female elephant had suffered debilitating lameness in Lpus community land. It had been left behind by the rest of the herd two days earlier and was unable to reach a water point. The conservancy requested veterinary assessment.

Immobilization, examination and management

Immobilization was achieved using M99® 12mg in a single 3cc Dan-inject dart from foot with the dart placed at the gluteal muscles. Down time was 8 minutes with the elephant lying on left lateral recumbency.

An elephant is seen with a severe injury  A close up of the injury

Examination showed a bone fracture of the ulna with fragments protruding from the skin. Tissue necrosis and purulent bone infection was noted. Stab wounds caused by spear on the ear pinna were also seen.

Due to the severe fracture and bone infection this animal was euthanized to relieve pain and suffering.

Sadly there was no hope for the elephant with an injury of this kind  The bone was broken and infected

Case #4: EUTHANASIA OF A GREVY ZEBRA FOAL

Date: 31st January 2016

Species: Grevy’s zebra

Sex: Female

Age: Foal (1 month)

Location: Wamba

History

This foal was found on 30/1/2016 during the grevy’s zebra census in Northern Kenya. Participants reported that it was snared by the left forelimb, although they were unable to examine at a close distance to rough terrain.

Immobilization, examination and management

On 31/1/2016, the herd was found on an open plain with the help of scouts from the Grevys Zebra Trust. The calf was sedated with Azaperone 20mg delivered in a 1.5 cc Dan-Inject dart. Examination showed a comminuted fracture of the metacarpal bones. Due to the severe injuries this foal was euthanized by intravenous injection of Euthatal.

A snared zebra foal was reported  The leg was badly broken and the zebra had to be euthanasied

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