The Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit

Field Report - January 2005

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It has been relatively quiet since we resumed back from leave on 10th January. There were only three cases reported this month, two of which were treated. The third was not found. The first of these cases was that of an elephant bull in Amboseli with a bullet wound on the lower left fore leg treated on 11th January.

A close up of the bullet wound heavily infected

It had been treated previously on the 17th December by a KWS vet from Nairobi but a second treatment was considered necessary as the infection had not cleared completely. The elephant was moving out of the park towards Tanzania when we were called. The area around the injury was swollen and oozing pus. Immobilisation and treatment was done successfully.

Once darted, the bull succumbs, lies down & sleeps  Dr. Ndeereh operating on the big bull

Dr. Ndeereh works on the wound, cleaning it thoroughly

The wound was cleaned and treated topically, and high doses of an antibiotic given intramuscularly. On being reversed however, it was unable to stand on its own and it had to be supported with ropes and two four-wheel vehicles onto its feetIt was next sighted on 21st January and after that it is being seen often. Reports indicate that the progress is satisfactory and it is able to use the leg..

Having administered the reversal drug he begins to wake up

Back on his feet

The other case was of a stock raiding lion trapped near Garsen in Tana River District. It was to be released into Tsavo East Park and we were called to examine and make recommendations before the release. It had multiple injuries on various parts of the body sustained while attempting to escape from the trap. It was immobilised for treatment as well as to enable a detailed physical examination. There were no signs of any infectious disease noted. The wounds were treated topically and a long acting antibiotic administered. It was released in the Northern part of the park just across Galana River at Luggards Falls. The release site was selected as it is far from human settlements and because of its proximity to water and abundant prey species. It is being monitored in collaboration with the research department of the park.

Before her release the lioness was imobilized in order to clean her wounds  The lioness just before she got to her feet

The third case was of a giraffe with a snare around its neck near Satao Camp within Tsavo East. It was not found despite three days of concerted efforts together with the Bura de-snaring team. Its search is still ongoing.