The Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit

Field Report - September 2009

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Several interventions were undertaken in September. Two elephants had snares removed from around their necks. The first was a 7 year old at Taita ranch with a very tight snare that had inflicted some serious injury.

The snare is cutting into the elephants neck  The wound caused by the snare

The snare wound after it is cleaned and treated

The prognosis however was favourable. The other was a 3 months old calf at Taita Salt Lick in which the snare was loose. The calf was immobilised together with its mother and both were revived simultaneously to avoid a situation where mother and calf would have been separated. 

The snare removed from around the calfs neck

Immobilised calf and its mother  The calf and mother after the snare is removed

Arrow heads were retrieved from two elephants. One christened ‘Irima’ that is amongst those released to the wild after several years of rehabilitation was treated at Ngutuni sanctuary. The arrow head was deeply embedded in the left thigh and required some radical surgery to remove.

Pus oozing from the arrow wound  Retrieving the arrow

The retrieved arrow  Cleaning the arrow wound

Administering the reversal drug  Irima gets back to his feet

 
The injury was estimated to be a few weeks old and only mildly infected. An elephant bull had an arrow head removed from the left abdominal area at Taita Salt Lick on 28th September. Infection was heavy with accumulation of a lot of pus and tissue necrosis. The pus was drained and dead tissues debrided. The wound was cleaned and topically treated and a high dose of a penicillin based long acting antibiotic administered. The sanctuary scouts will monitor and give progress. The prognosis was guarded.

The bull at Taita Salt Lick  The immobilised bull showing the extent of pus accumulation

Removing the pus  The pus spurting from the wound

The arrow retrieved from the bull  The wound after it is cleaned and treated

On the 28th September, a female waterbuck was rescued from a 10 feet deep pit at Mackinnon shopping centre. The circumstances under which it fell into the pit were not clear. It was released with Tsavo East at Bachuma gate.

The pit that the waterbuck fell down  The waterbuck at the bottom of the pit

Securing ropes around the waterbuck to lift it from the pit  Lifting the waterbuck out of the pit

Taking the waterbuck to the vet vehicle for release at Bahcuma gate  The waterbuck back on its feet

Two young elephant calves (both about three weeks old) were rescued at the Satao water hole

Getting into the waterhole to rescue the calf

The calf out of the waterhole

and Galdessa camp in Tsavo East after they were found alone.

The calf rescued at Galdessa camp

The rescued calf is given some milk

They were airlifted to Nairobi where they are undergoing rehabilitation after which they will be reintroduced back to the wild in Tsavo East after 4-5 years.

There was also an elephant in Amboseli reported with spear injuries but was not found. We will be informed when sighted again.

Report by: Dr. David Ndeereh

The Mobile Veterinary Unit operated by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust working with The Kenyan Wildlife Service and funded by Vier Pfoten