The Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit
Field Report - February 2010
Revival of anaesthesia
After treatment, the elephant was revived from anaesthesia using 36mgs of diprenorphine hydrochloride administered through the superficial ear-vein. The prognosis was good after treatment because it had not developed any septiceamia. Mara rangers were advised to keep monitoring its progress until full recovery.
Removal of a snare and treatment of a common zebra in Kawai area of Maasai Mara.
This was a case of an adult female zebra that had been sighted with a loose wire snare hanging round its neck. The snare was loose and had not inflicted any injury to the animal even though it was strangling the neck and affecting its movement.
The zebra was captured by darting using 5mgs of etorphine hydrochloride combined with 60mgs of xylazine hydrochloride, it went recumbent after about 10 minutes. The wire was then cut off using a wire cutter, then revived from anaesthesia and released back to the wild after successful rescue.
Treatment of an injured sub-adult male elephant in Mara Triangle
This was a case of a sub-adult male elephant which had a deep wound on the medial side of the right front leg, the elephant was sighted in a large herd of elephants just a few kilometers from Oloololo gate. The cause of the injury could not be ascertained. The wound was infected, exuding pus and full of necrotic tissue. It was then captured by darting and treated.
Chemical immobilization, examination and treatment
The elephant was darted from a vehicle using 16mgs of etorphine Hcl combined with 1000 i.u of hyaluronidase, the drug took effect after about 8 minutes and it became recumbent. The wound was then cleaned with a lot of water and gauze swabs to remove all the mud, pus, tissue debris and maggots. It was further cleaned using 10% hydrogen peroxide and drained all the accumulated pus and tissue debris, then later treated with a tincture of iodine and oxytetracycline spray. Further treatments included intramuscular administration of long-acting oxytetracycline antibiotics. Blood samples were also collected and shall be analyzed for health monitoring purposes.
Revival of anaesthesia
After treatment, the elephant was revived from anaesthesia using 36mgs of diprenorphine hydrochloride administered through the ear-vein. It was to be monitored and reported just incase a repeat treatment is required.
The elephant had good prognosis after the treatment because the wound was only affecting the soft tissues and did not extend into the tarsal joint, the wound also had good drainage of pus and other exudates, it had also started developing granulomatous tissues which is a good sign of healing.
During this month, the Mara veterinary unit responded to all reported cases of sick and injured wildlife species within Maasai Mara National Reserve. Two elephants and one zebra were attended to and successfully treated. The unit was also heavily involved in translocation of zebras from Soysambu ranch in Naivasha to
Kenya Wildlife Service acknowledges the support of David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) towards provision of prompt veterinary services to wildlife in Maasai Mara ecosystem, Central Rift region and
Report by: Dr. Domnic Mijele