THE TSAVO MOBILE VETERINARY UNIT
REPORT FOR - April 2018

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VETERINARY REPORT FOR TSAVO MOBILE VET UNIT FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL 2018

Reported by Dr Jeremiah Poghon, Unit veterinarian

Introduction

Tsavo ecosystem wildlife continues to enjoy lush green vegetation and plenty of water from the recent rains that pounded the vast area. Cases attended to included immobilization and euthanasia of Zebra with a fracture near Maungu, Tsavo East, and autopsy of an Elephant calf undertaken in Kaluku DSWT headquarters, a Leopard with very poor body condition that succumbed after being supplemented with beef. Another Zebra was treated for Lion attack wounds near Manyani gate and two little Genet kittens rescued near Mwatate area along Voi mwatate road.

CASE#1 MANAGEMENT OF A ZEBRA

Date:  9th April 2018

Species: Common Zebra

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Maungu, Tsavo East.

History

A report was received from Dakota base camp’s Kenya Wildlife Service Rangers who were manning the area bordering Maungu town. They had found that a Zebra was lying down and unable to walk and appeared in great pain. On closer examination the Zebras front leg appeared fractured and bleeding. The vet team rushed to the area to find the poor animal writhing in pain near a watering hole with the rangers close by watching.

Immobilization, examination and management

The zebra was immobilized by darting it with 6 mgs of Etorphine Hcl mixed with 60 mgs of Xylazine in a 1.5 cc Dan-inject dart. He was fully immobilized after 4 minutes. Quick examination revealed a serious complete fracture of the left forelimb with massive bleeding and contamination. After detailed assessment the complex fracture was deemed irreparable in the wild conditions and will certainly lead to great suffering of the animal. Due to the poor prognosis, the animal was euthanized on animal welfare grounds.

They had found that a Zebra was lying down and unable to walk and appeared in great pain  fter detailed assessment the complex fracture was deemed irreparable

20 CC of 20% Pentobarbitone sodium (Euthanaze) was administered by rapid IV through the Jugular vein. The cause of fracture was thought to be an accident caused by the old railway line which was nearby.

CASE#2 AUTOPSY OF AN ELEPHANT CALF

Date:     16th April 2018

Species: Loxodanta Africana (African Elephant)

Sex: Female

Age: Calf

Location: Kaluku, Tsavo East.

History

DSWT Kaluku Headquarters reported there was an elephant calf that was rescued in Amboseli National Park and brought to DSWT Kaluku for care in need of attention. The calf presented with signs of internal pain and did not want to lie down, was frothing, restless and eventually died.

General Examination

The carcass was in good body condition with all the skin intact. After removal of the skin the subcutis looked normal. The chest cavity appeared normal but the lungs were haemorrhagic and oedematous. There was extensive supurative peritonitis in the peritoneal cavity with no peritoneal fluid left. The yellows pus in the peritoneum is a sign of severe bacterial infection and septicaemia was cause of death. The entry point of the bacteria to the peritoneal cavity was tentatively put as intestinal perforation early in life.

Postmortem of an elephant calf

CASE#3 INJURED LEOPARD CASE

Date:  16th April 2018

Species: Leopard

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Ngutuni sanctuary, Tsavo East.

A report was made by the Ngutuni lodge manager of a sickly looking Leopard that took refuge under their raised buildings which is adjacent to Tsavo East National Park. The team rushed to the lodge to ascertain what the problem was. The Leopard which was sleeping close by was observed and the most striking feature was its very poor condition.  A decision was made to supplement the leopard with some beef as it was too risky to anesthetise in its current state. 3 kgs of meat was bought from the local butchery and fed to the Leopard then left overnight to be checked the next morning. He was found dead the next day and the carcass was taken to the vet offices for autopsy.

Autopsy

Post mortem revealed multiple penetrating wounds to the pelvic area with bacterial infection. The body condition of the carcass was very poor placed at level 1/5 due to extreme starvation from his inability to hunt prey. Cause of death a fight with a Lion.

Post mortem revealed multiple penetrating wounds to the pelvic area with bacterial infection  A report was made by the Ngutuni lodge manager of a sickly looking Leopard

CASE#4 TREATMENT OF AN ELEPHANT BULL

Date:  18th April 2018

Species: Loxodanta Africana (African Elephant)

Sex: Male

Age: Adult

Location: Sagalla ranch, Tsavo East

History

KWS rangers manning the vast Taita ranches reported a young Elephant bull that was standing near a watering point in very poor body condition and not browsing. The GPS location was sent to the vet team for direction. The team rushed to the area and briefly got lost in the thick bush that covers the huge community ranch. We finally located the KWS team who were with Wildlife Works Community Rangers watching over the bull which was standing under a tree nearby.

Immobilization, examination and Management

The Elephant was darted from foot using 18 mgs of Etorphine Hcl. It just stood in the same spot until he went down on lateral recumbency after 4 minutes. Examination revealed no external wounds but the elephant was in very poor body condition. The rectum was empty and the perineal area was soiled which is a sign of intestinal disease. The elephant was also reported to be anorexic. A tentative diagnosis of intestinal manifestation was made, this could have been caused by ingestion of a toxic substance. Long acting antibiotics were administered intramuscularly together with Vitamin B12 complex to boost metabolism and Dexamethasone Hcl given intravenously through the ear.

Examination revealed no external wounds but the elephant was in very poor body condition  he rectum was empty and the perineal area was soiled which is a sign of intestinal disease

The anaesthesia was revered using Diprenorphine at three times the Etorphine dose. The elephant was too weak to stand and a team of rangers, vet and community members battled for an hour to try and lift him up in vain. The Elephants condition was deemed grave especially since it was near community lands with dangers of being poached. A decision was made to euthanize the elephant and the tusks were removed for safe custody.

Vitamin B12 complex to boost metabolism and Dexamethasone Hcl given intravenously through the ear   The elephant could not get up so a decision was made to euthanize the elephant

CASE#5

Date:  23rd April 2018

Species: Common Zebra

Sex: Female

Age: Adult

Location: Manyani, Tsavo East.

History

A report was received from the KWS team manning Manyani gate that a Zebra had deep injuries on the rump suspected to be from a lion attack and was in great pain. The vet team rushed to the area to find the poor animal writhing in pain beside the road near Manyani prison.

Immobilization, examination and treatment

The Zebra was immobilized by darting with 6 mgs of Etorphine Hcl mixed with 60 mgs of Xylazine in a 1.5 cc Dan-inject dart. The zebra was darted from foot and went down after walking a short distance. She was placed on lateral recumbency with the deep laceration on the right rump area facing upwards. The wound was cleaned using tincture of iodine, sprayed with Oxytetracycline spray and covered with wetted green clay. The wound was typical of lion attack wounds.

a Zebra had deep injuries on the rump suspected to be from a lion attack   She was placed on lateral recumbency with the deep laceration on the right rump area facing upwards

The zebra received 40cc of long acting antibiotics and 20cc of Dexamethasone Sodium which were administered intramuscularly. Vitamin B12 complex (Catasol) was also given.

The wound was cleaned using tincture of iodine, sprayed with Oxytetracycline spray   The wound was typical of lion attack wounds

Reversal and Prognosis

Finally the anaesthesia was reversed by use of 18 mgs Diprenorphine with mixed 0.5cc of Atipemazole Hcl given intravenously through the jugular vein.

Prognosis is good.

CASE#6 RESCUE OF GENET KITTENS

Date:  26th April 2018

Species: Genet

Sex: Male and female

Age: Week old

Location: Mwatate, Tsavo East.

History

KWS Community Rangers reported that a group of community members near Mwatate town went searching for a wild animal that had killed their goats and found little Genet kittens that they thought were Leopard cubs that preyed on their livestock. They picked them up and called the KWS office in Voi to collect them as they were uncomfortable with Leopards in their village. The KWS Rangers contacted the vet unit for assistance. The tiny kittens were collected and taken to Voi DSWT stockade where they were given diluted cow’s milk and thereafter taken to Kaluku DSWT headquarters for raising.

. The tiny kittens were collected and taken to Voi DSWT stockade  . The tiny kittens were collected and taken to Voi DSWT stockade

 Other Activities

  • The unit examined several wildlife trophies/parts and produced expert reports to aid in prosecution of the offenders in court.
  • The unit treated a canine in Kaluku kennels for bacterial ear infection which recovered. Ngulia Rhino sanctuary canines were also administered with Triquin anti-trypanasomosis prophylactic treatment.

Acknowledgement

The unit acknowledges the support of its sponsors ViER PFOTEN through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) for their immense financial contribution to the unit.  We also thank Kenya Wildlife Service through the Assistant director Tsavo conservation area and the head, veterinary and capture services department for their support.

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