The Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit

Field Report - May 2013

 Return to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Website

Introduction With the region still green and water points still full, veterinary cases handled within the month was lower than the preceding months. Cases reported to the unit included elephants with tusks growing back to the facial tissues, an elephant bull with arrow wounds, a problematic lioness translocated to Tsavo east, rescue of an orphaned elephant calf and treatment and euthanasia of a gravely injured elephant bull near Taveta, Tsavo west. The region is expected to continue drying up and cases to be on the increase. Treatment of an injured elephant bull in Irima area, Tsavo east, 8th May

injured elephant in Tsavo East NP  Treatment of bull in Tsavo East

Cases of arrow wounds targeting mostly elephant bulls have been on the increase in the recent past within the conservation area. The bull was spotted near the Voi gate with pus oozing from the body side. Darting was done using 18 mgs of etorphine in a dan inject dart system and but unfortunately the elephant fell on the wounded side. A vehicle was used to turn him over and expose the wounded flank. The arrow wound was cleaned using clean water mixed with hydrogen peroxide in a ratio of 1:1. Tinture of iodine and oxytetracycline spray was then sprayed and a final cover of green clay applied. The elephant was declared able to heal with good prognosis and anaesthesia reversed using diprenorphine at 3 times the etorphine dose. Rescue of an abandoned elephant orphan in Aruba, Tsavo east 29th May

Rescue of an abandoned elephant orphan in Aruba, Tsavo east.

An elephant orphan was spotted stranded within a rehabilitation enclosure in aruba area of Tsavo east. The mother was not seen around and the calf left for several hours to see if the mother will return. After it became apparent that the mother was not going to turn up, a team from the sheldricks desnaring was mobilised to undertake the rescue. The orphan was kept overnight in Voi stockade before he was moved to Nairobi orphanage for better care. Immobilization, treatment and release of a problematic lioness in Tsavo east, 30th May

Captured lion for treatment  operation on lion in Tsavo

Cats are some problem causing animals within the Tsavo ecosystem and rank only next to elephants in damage caused. This particular lioness was trapped in Kutima ranch within Taita ranches for preying on livestock. She was immobilized using ketamine 300 mgs mixed with meditomidine 4 mg. Wounds on the body were treated and long acting antibiotics administered. The lioness was transported to powerline area of Tsavo east and released in good condition after injection of antisedan hydrochloride. Immobilization and euthanasia of an injured elephant bull in Salaita area, Tsavo west 31st May

Injured elephant bull in Tsavo West  injured elephant bull

The report of the injured recumbent elephant bull was received from the warden Taveta. The seriously wounded young bull was lying near a water hole with his family members nearby on guard. He was immobilised by hand injection of etorphine 8 mgs into the ear vein. After close examination the wound was diagnosed to have affected the left elbow joint with poor prognosis of healing. The elephants body condition was rated at 2 in a scale of 1-5 which was very poor. With very poor prognosis and extended recumbency period he was dim not able to make it and was therefore euthanized. Autopsy of the joint indicated extensive cartilage destruction and suppuration. Other cases reported to the unit Cases of two elephants with tusks growing towards the facial tissues were reported and tracked but subsequent immobilization proved unsuccessful. The cases will be followed up and attended to. Conclusion and acknowledgement With the region expected to continue to experience a dry spell, cases of injuries especially in elephants are to be on the increase in the coming months. Finally the units will like to thank its sponsors ViER PFOTEN through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) for the continued support to this noble course. Many thanks also go to the director Kenya Wildlife Service. Reported By:- Jeremiah Poghon Unit veterinarian