The Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit

Field Report - May 2016

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FIELD VETERINARY REPORT FOR TSAVO MOBILE VET UNIT FOR THE MONTH OF MAY 2016

The month under review remained calm due to recent showers experienced in the ecosystem. Cases reported to the Unit were a lame elephant near Voi River, Grants Gazelle with mange skin infection near Galana River, a snared Buffalo in Rukinga ranch and an injured Cheetah that could not be traced near Ngutuni sanctuary.

CASE#1 RESCUE OF A LEOPARD CUB

Date: 10th May 2016

Animal: Leopard

Sex: Male

Age: Cub

Location: Mutomo station

Rescue and management

The cub was reported by a community member who was burning charcoal near Kithima village of Mutomo area north of Tsavo East National Park. The cub was rescued by a KWS team based at Mutomo station who later contacted the unit for assistance. The cub was transported to the Northern Park headquarters at Ithumba for airlift to Voi. The Nairobi orphanage indicated it was full and there was no space available to host the cub. Tsavo Trust took in the cub with plans for release back to wild when mature.

He will be released into the wild when fully grown  A tiny leopard cub found alone

CASE#2 REPORTED LAME ELEPHANT NEAR NDOLOLO CAMP, TSAVO EAST

Date: 10th May 2016

Animal: Elephant

Species: Loxodanta Africana

Sex: Male

Age: Sab-adult

Location: Tsavo east- Ndololo camp

A sub adult lame elephant was reported near Ndololo camp, Tsavo east and upon being traced found to be an old injury that had already healed with no danger to the animal. The leg was deformed at the right knee joint making it shorter than the rest hence the abnormal movement.

This elephant has a deformed leg  The elephant has adapted to its disability - no intervention required

CASE#3 REPORT OF GAZELLE WITH MANGE INFECTION

Date: 12th May

Animal: Gazelle

Sex: Female

Age: Adult

Location: Sobo rock, Tsavo East

History and search

The gazelle was seen by a tourist beside the road near Sobo rock on the road along Galana River from Sala gate. She was restless with evident skin lesions covering most of the body. After the report was received the team rushed to the area and searched for it in vain. Several hundreds of gazelles and impalas were surveyed along the Voi, Luggards, Sala and Aruba road and no signs of mange infestation were seen. Mange is a disease caused by Demodectic and Sarcoptic mites which barrow into the skin and causes alopecia and intense irritation. It’s contagious and zoonotic. Further studies will be undertaken to understand the extent of its spread.

Unfortunately it disappeared but the search is ongoing  This gazelle was reported to have a severe mange infection

CASE#4 DESNARING OF A BUFFALO

Date: 12th May 2016

Animal: Buffalo

Sex: Female

Age: Sab-adult

Location: Rukinga ranch

History

A report was received from the Rukinga ranch regarding a snared Buffalo in the ranch. The team rushed to the area to find the snared Buffalo struggling to free itself with the rest of the herd had moved away.

The herd has left it behind as it is trapped  The wire snare is wrapped tightly under its horns

Immobilization, examination and treatment

The buffalo was immobilized using 4 mgs of Etorphine mixed with 50 mgs of Xylazine using a dan-inject dart from a dan-inject dart gun and it went down in 5 minutes. The strong wire snare was removed and the wounds around the base of the horns treated. The buffalo was administered with Dexamethasone Hcl and long acting antibiotic parenterally.

A buffalo is struggling to free itself from a snare  The team removes the snare

Reversal

The anaesthesia was reversed using Diprenorphine at three times the Etorphine dose and 0.5cc of Atipemazole Hcl both IV through the jugular vein. The Buffalo woke up and ran into the bushes. 

Prognosis

Prognosis is good.

Other cases reported

EXPERT COURT TESTIMONY AT MALINDI COURT

The vet was bonded to testify in a case involving persons arrested with ivory at Malindi court. This is after examining the trophies and producing an expert report.

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 immense support to the unit.