The Amboseli Mobile Veterinary Unit

Field Report - May 2016

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MONTHLY REPORT - VETERINARY CLINICAL INTERVENTIONS FOR THE SOUTHERN CONSERVATION AREA (MVU) – May 2016

Report by; Dr. Michael Njoroge

Introduction

The unit attended to various cases within Amboseli, Tsavo East and Tsavo West ecosystems. During this month we attend to two cases of human wildlife conflict which resulted in the relocation of the problem animals as well as other clinical interventions.

CASE#1 LION TRANSLOCATION

Date; 19th May 2016

Species: Lion

Sex: Male

Age: Sub-Adult – 3 years

Location: Mbirikani, Amboseli Ecosystem

History

This lion was threatened by the community after it reportedly attacked various homesteads and killed livestock. A decision was made to relocate the lion to Tsavo East to resolve this conflict.                                    

Immobilization and relocation

The lion was immobilized using 4mgs of Medetomidine and 296mg of Ketamine in a 3cc dart using a Dan-Inject dart gun. Full immobilization took place after 10 minutes and a blank dart was shot at him to confirm the lion was fully immobilized before the team approached. His eyes were lubed with OptiClox.

The lion was loaded onto a waiting land cruiser with a suitable transport cage and immediately relocated to Tsavo East – Lugards falls area. He was free from any injuries.

The lion is darted for translocation  The lion is loaded onto the landcruiser into a suitable cage

Reversal

The anaesthetic was reversed using 12mg of Antisedan intramuscularly 1 hour after immobilization.

Prognosis

Prognosis is good.

CASE#2 CROCODILE RELOCATION

Date: 20th May 2016

Species: Crocodile

Age: Sub adults

Location: Salt Lick - Tsavo West Ecosystem

History

The crocodiles were reported to be a menace within the community hence a decision to relocate the 8 crocodiles to Tsavo river was reached.

Immobilization and capture

The crocodiles were captured using nets and immobilized by use of ropes and elastic bands. The limbs were physically restrained using ropes and the mouth tightly shut using elastic bands to prevent injury.

  The team capture 8 crocodiles

The 8 crocodiles were loaded into a waiting land cruiser and immediately translocated to Tsavo River – Tsavo West National park.

The crocodiles are checked for injury and other measurements taken  The crocodiles are secured and carried to the vehicle for relocation

Prognosis

Prognosis is good.

The crocodiles are safely transported to the park

CASE#3 TREATMENT OF AN INJURED ELEPHANT

Date: 20th May 2016

Species: Elephant

Sex: Male

Age: Adult (35-40 yrs)

Location: Maktau (Tsavo West)

History

The DSWT rangers reported to have spotted a male elephant with a suspected arrow injury to the left hind quarters. Having come in from Amboseli and aided by the Trust’s aircraft, a thorough search ensued. The elephant was finally spotted in thick bush in the midst of its family.

Immobilization, Examination and Treatment

The elephant was immobilised with 18mg Etorphine in a 3 ml Dan - inject dart using the Dan Inject system from a Helicopter. Unfortunately, the elephant went down to a sternal position in between thick bush after 8 minutes and was quickly flipped over to lateral recumbence using a landcruiser. The trunk was maintained patent using a piece of stick placed across the nostril entrances. Plenty of water was doused on the elephant to keep the body temperature low and the ears used as blindfold.

On physical examination the elephant had swelling and a wound to the left hind quarters. The wound was septic and had necrotic tissue and the swelling appeared to be as a result of a tumour. The wound was thoroughly cleaned using clean water and Hydrogen Peroxide, then lavaged using tincture of Iodine. Topical antibiotic cream and green clay was then applied into the wound to facilitate healing and avoid infection. The elephant was then injected with 100 ml Betamox L.A, 1200 mg and 100 ml Dexamethasone at different sites intramuscularly. The entire operation lasted about 30 minutes.

A wound caused by a tumor  The wound after treatment

Reversal

The anaesthetic was reversed using Diprenorphine Hydrochloride (60mgs) into the ear vein.  It took 4.5 minutes to get up and walk away from the site.

Prognosis

Fair

CASE# 4 TREATMENT OF AN ELEPHANT

Date:  28th May 2016

Species: Elephant

Sex: Male

Age: Adult (25-30 yrs)

Location: Amboseli ecosystem-Selengei

History

The elephant was spotted by Porini camp game scouts. It had a fairly large swelling on the left hind limb and he was limping severely.

Immobilization, examination and treatment

The elephant was immobilised with 18mg Etorphine in a 3 ml Dan - inject dart using the Dan Inject system from a vehicle. After 8 minutes, the bull went down on lateral recumbence. The trunk was maintained patent using a piece of stick placed across the nostril entrances and the ears were used as a blindfold. Plenty of water was doused on the elephant to keep the body temperature low. 

This elephant is seen limping with a swollen leg  The vet team at work

On physical examination the elephant had a swelling to the left hind limb; however, no physical injury could be seen. It was suspected that the swelling could have been caused by trauma; most likely inflicted by a fall or fight. The elephant was injected with 200 ml Betamox L.A and 100 ml flunixine meglumine at different sites intramuscularly. The entire operation lasted about 20 minutes.

The vet assesses the wound likely caused by trauma

Reversal

The anaesthetic was reversed using Diprenorphine Hydrochloride (54mgs) into the ear vein.  It took 10minutes to get up and walk away from the site.

The elephant is given a good prognosis

Prognosis

Good

CASE#5 TREATMENT OF INJURED ELEPHANT

Date: 29th May 2016

Species: Elephant

Sex: Female

Age: Adult (30-35 yrs)

Location: Satao - Tsavo East National Park

History

The adult female elephant was spotted in Satao and was severely emaciated. A decision was made to immobilize and treat the elephant. The elephant darting was relatively easy from the vehicle as it was at a water hole.

Immobilization, examination and treatment

The elephant was immobilised with 18mg Etorphine in a 3 ml Dan - inject dart using the Dan Inject system from a vehicle. Full immobilization took place after 7 minutes and he fell on lateral recumbency. The trunk was maintained patent using a piece of stick placed across the nostril entrances and the ears were used as blindfold. Plenty of water was doused on the ears (pinnae) and the entire body to help cool the elephant during the operation.

This elephant was seen severely emaciated  The elephant is darted for treatment

On examination, the elephant was in poor body condition and blood was oozing from the reproductive organ. It was suspected to have been a long standing infection probably after parturition. The elephant was injected with 200 ml Amoxcycillin L.A 20% and 100 ml Dexamethasone at different sites intramuscularly. The entire operation lasted about 25 minutes.

The vet team assess the condition and injuries  

Reversal

The anaesthetic was reversed using Diprenorphine Hydrochloride (54mgs) into the ear vein. The elephant was up in 10 minutes and walked away. Owing to her weakness, she was assisted by use of ropes tied onto a land cruiser.

The elephant was unable to rise without assistance  The prognosis is fair

Prognosis

Prognosis is fair

The Southern Conservation Area- Mobile Veterinary Unit is grateful to all individuals who played a role in assisting us towards achieving our goal. Many thanks to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, The Samuel J and Ethel Lefrak charitable trust and The Kenya Wildlife Service for their continued support to this unit which aims at immediate response to clinical intervention, wildlife rescues and alleviating wildlife suffering.