The Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit

Field Report - May 2015

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FIELD VETERINARY REPORT FOR TSAVO MOBILE VET UNIT FOR THE MONTH OF MAY 2015

Reported By Jeremiah Poghon

Introduction

The Month under review experienced a calm period similar to the month of May. Cases handled included a search for a problematic lioness that was preying on livestock in Amboseli, treatment of an injured elephant in Jipe area of Tsavo west and rescue and treatment of an injured Owl. The region is still green with temporary water holes spread over the ecosystem.  

CASE#1 SEARCH OF A PROBLEMATIC LIONESS

Date: 21st May 2015

Species: Lioness (Panthera leo)

Sex: Female

Age: Adult

Place: Amboseli National Park

History

A report was received from the warden of Amboseli National Park regarding a problematic lioness that had preyed on tens of goats and sheep near the park boundary. Attempts to locate her proved difficult and the Vet Unit was called in to assist in capture and translocation due to increased pressure from the community. The team travelled to Amboseli and searched for the lioness for three days and nights without success. The lioness hid in a thick palm plantation during the day and didn’t prey on livestock for the three days the team was there. The team finally pulled out. The lioness that was initially thought to have young cubs preyed on livestock and was put down by Amboseli rangers a day after.

CASE#2 TREATMENT OF A SPEARED ELEPHANT

Date: 23rd May 2015

Species: Elephant

Sex: Female

Age: Adult

Place:  Lake Jipe, Tsavo West

History

KWS rangers from the Jipe platoon of Tsavo West National Park reported an elephant seen walking towards the lake with a lot of difficulty. She was easily found near the camp when the team arrived in the area.

Immobilisation, examination and treatment

The elephant was immobilised using 16mg Etorphine in a 3 ml Dan - inject dart using a Dan inject dart rifle from a vehicle. The elephant was immobilized after 5 minutes. The elephant fell on the lateral side and the team went into action with the rangers pouring water on the ears while the vet undertook the examination.

There was a penetrating wound that went through the left ear and into the left side of the neck with pus oozing out, thought to have been caused by a spear. The wounds were cleaned using Hydrogen Peroxide mixed with water and doused with tincture of Iodine then covered with green clay. Long acting Amoxicillin and Dexamethasone were administered parenterally. Another injury thought to have been a gun shot on the pelvis area was also treated.

The elephant is darted for treatment  The vet examines the injury

The wounds are cleaned and packed with green clay  The vet prepares to reverse the sedation

Reversal

The anaesthetic was reversed using Diprenorphine at 3 times the Etorphine dose intravenously.

CASE#3 TREATMENT OF AN EAGLE OWL

Date: 1st June 2015

Species: Verreaux Eagle Owl

Sex: Unknown

Age: Adult

Place:  Voi, Tsavo East

History

The Eagle Owl was rescued from Voi town by members of the public and brought into the Vet office for medical attention. The owl was allegedly hit by a high voltage electricity shock from the main power lines near voi town.

Examination and treatment

Examination revealed a wound to the right wing with bones exposed. Treatment was by administration of 0.2 mls of Betamox and a wound spray. The Owl was given oral vitamin supplementation and fed on beef which it refused to eat. Pieces of chicken mixed with chicken eggs were prepared which it consumed with good appetite. A plan was made to transport the eagle to Nairobi Raptor Rescue Centre but succumbed on the morning it was to be airlifted.

Sadly the Eagle Owl was too badly injured

 

Conclusion and acknowledgement

The unit would like to appreciate the support of its sponsors ViER PFOTEN through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) for their continued support.  We also thank Kenya Wildlife Service through the Assistant director Tsavo conservation area and the head, veterinary and capture services department for their contribution.