The Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit
Field Report - April 2013
Return to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
The month was relatively quiet with a lot of rains experienced most of the days. Mobility was difficult due to weather coupled with poor road conditions.
We handled two cases as follows:
Age: Sub adult
Location: Olsentu village (Trans -Mara)
This elephant was reported by the warden Kilgoris station as having been spotted lonely and within community area. This was brought to her attention by local herders. The elephant was said to be having difficulty in moving hence had stayed in one place for long. Obvious injuries could be seen in the front left leg. The rest of the herd members had abandoned her.
Immobilization and examination
Immobilization was achieved by use of 13mgs etorphine delivered through daninject darting system. It took eight minutes for the drug to take full effect.
On examination, the elephant appeared to have been injured on the front left leg specifically at elbow joint. The injury seemed to have been inflicted by a sharp object most likely a spear. Other wounds were seen around the withers left flank and caudally at the left rump. The wound at the elbow was severe involving the joint capsule and was septic. All the other wounds were shallow and dry.
All the wounds were copiously lavaged with plenty of water; debris cleaned by hydrogen peroxide and disinfected with lugols iodine. Topical wound spray was applied. In addition1 5000mgs of amoxicillin was also administered parenterally.
42mgs of diprenorphine HCL was administered through the ear vein and the elephant was able to rise up through assistance (pulling by use of ropes)
Guarded to poor because of involvement of joint capsule
Case 2 (Post mortem)
Location: Talek area (Masai-Mara)
This cheetah was a member of three brothers who were born in the year 2006.One of the brothers had since died after being attacked by lions. The remaining two had occupied a territory occasionally frequented by lions. On the fateful day, a pride of lions ambushed the two and this particular cheetah was unlucky. Lions caught up with him and caused serious injuries. The cheetah however died before any veterinary intervention could be carried out.
The cheetah was in good body condition. Injuries were seen around groin area, left thoracic region and left scrotal area.
Post mortem examination
On post mortem, the following findings were noted:
Spinal cord at the lumbar region was damaged with fracture of the lumbar vertebrae noted. The tissues around this area were becoming gangrenous.
There was a wound penetrating into pleural cavity between 3rd and 4th left ribs. This caused pneumothorax.The lungs had collapsed.
Right scrotal tear exposing the testical.
This particular cheetah could have died of respiratory failure given that both lungs had collapsed due to pneumothorax.
Report by: Dr.Campaign Limo