The Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit

Field Report - January 2007

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As reported in our last report in 2006, the Unit was closed in December for the annual leave and resumed back on 8th January 2007. We however remained in contact with the park managements to advice on any emergency that would have been reported during this period, but none was reported. The Tsavos received above normal short rains from October to December 2006 and some early part of January 2007. The parks are still very green and water is widely available. Subsequently, the animals are widely dispersed and difficult to see. Incidences of conflicts with the local community are low because the animals have enough water and feed in the protected areas. Incidences of animal injury are therefore low at present. There were only two cases this month. The Cases: The first case was of a male Impala at Voi gate in Tsavo East with a fresh snare on the neck that had not yet inflicted any injury. It was reported to the Unit by a visitor and we responded immediately and successfully removed the snare.

The snare is around the Impalas neck  Removing the snare from around the Impalas neck

The Impala after the snare is removed  The Impala bounds away

The other case was of a male lion trapped for stock raiding at KARI farm in Voi. We were requested to examine and treat some injuries sustained in the trap.

The cage that the lion was kept in

However, the injuries, most of which were caused by the metal hook used to hold the bait, were found to be more serious than anticipated. The paws had serious injuries too from the floor that is made of mesh wire.

The lions wounded paws  More wounds sustained by the lion while in captivity

The lion also had wounds on its head

Survival of the lion if released before recovery was slim and because there is no holding facility where it could be confined for treatment and frequent assessment as it recuperated, it was euthanased with Euthatal® after immobilisation with Ketamine and Xylazine Hcl.

The lion was euthanased

Recommendations to have the trap floor covered with a metal sheeting and the hook made blunt were made to the in-charge of Community Department.

The Mobile Veterinary Unit operated by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust working with The Kenyan Wildlife Service and funded by Vier Pfoten