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 Ndara's treatment & recovery - 5/13/2012
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Joseph Sauni, the Head Keeper at the Voi Elephant Rehabilitation Centre in Southern Tsavo East National Park, was on a routine motorized patrol on the 13th April, 2012, when he happened upon the Ex Orphans of EMILYs now wild unit, who were actually already on their way back to the Voi Stockades. Amongst them was NDARA, whom he noticed to be limping. NDARA was rescued from an open manhole on the main Nairobi Mombasa pipeline as an 8 month old calf way back in 2001. The Nairobi pipeline runs from MZIMA Springs in Tsavo West, through Tsavo East and adjacent Ranches on its way to the Coastal town of Mombasa. NDARA was rescued from the manhole adjacent to Rukinga Ranch not far from the BuCHUMA Entrance Gate to the Park.

She was flown to the Nairobi Nursery and when over two years old, and in the fullness of time graduated to the Voi Rehabilitation Stockades when just over two, there to embark on the long journey back to a normal wild life amongst the wild elephant community of Southern Tsavo East. This transition was accomplished in 2005, when she left Keeper dependency along with EMILY (the reigning Voi Matriarch at the time) accompanied also by Loisaba, ILINGWEZI, Tsavo, LAIKIPIA, SALAMA, AITONG, and SWEET SALLY who is now one of the main Nannies to EMILYs first wild-born calf, little Eve, born on the l0th December, 2008. NDARA, now in her thirteenth year could very well be pregnant, but Joseph Sauni noticed that she was limping, and could see three arrows protruding from her body - one in her side, one in the back and one in the joint of the front left leg, which was causing her to limp. Dr. Poghorn, the Vet seconded by KWS to the Trusts Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit, was called upon to come and immobilize NDARA in order to remove the arrows, and treat the resulting wounds. This was done that same day (13th April) below the Voi Safari Lodge, after which NDARA was resuscitated and went off to catch up with EMILYs unit, of which she was a part.

The arrow Dr Poghon got out of her side in the first treatment of the 13th of April  Dr Poghon cleaning Ndara's arrow wounds in the first treatment

She returned to the Voi Stockades again on the 29th, this time alone, and limping more heavily, the left front foot swollen and obviously infected. The Keepers did their best to persuade her to remain within the vicinity of the Voi Stockades so that Dr. Poghorn could monitor her, but she left during the night, and they were unable to locate her the following morning. Meanwhile Dr. Poghorn left on leave and was not available when NDARA again returned alone to the Voi Stockades a week later on the 29th, obviously seriously handicapped by the deterioration of the injured front foot. We managed to get a team of Vets together and source all the medication the Vets recommended and the team flew to Tsavo where they immobilized NDARA, and were able to thoroughly cleanse the compromised joint, which was, indeed, seriously infected. The wound was packed with anti-biotic ointment and Green Clay, and having been injected with anti-inflammatories and a long acting antibiotic, NDARA was successfully revived after an hour long sedation, and steered groggily back into her erstwhile Stockade there to rest and heal under protective care and follow up injections to aid recovery.

The Veterinary equipment  The Vets getting ready to treat Ndara

Ndara  The Vet getting ready to dart Ndara

Ndara darted  The Vet team get to work

Another Vet cleans her body wound  The Vet cleans the leg wound

Ndara with 3 arrow wounds being treated  The wound on the back covered with green clay once treatment is complete


Happily, the improvement was noticeable even the next day. The swelling had substantially subsided and she could put more weight on that foot. The Keepers continued the follow up treatment and NDARA meanwhile greatly relished regular visits and attention from the Keeper Dependent Orphans, numbering 13, as they left their Night Stockades every morning and when they returned again in the evening or attended the Stockade mudbath at noon. She was provided with freshly cut green browse and supplements, her own mudbath in the Enclosure, and the love of her erstwhile human family again. Now, she is able to leave her Enclosure to browse nearby during daylight hours, but happily returns for the night, so that she can lie down and sleep peacefully, knowing that she is totally secure. We are, indeed, exceedingly grateful to the Vets who were more than helpful and we are immensely relieved that NDARA is well on the road to a full recovery, and will soon be able to rejoin EMILYs unit of our now wild Ex Orphans. Her Story is yet further proof that our Ex Orphans now living wild, who face many hazards as do their wild counterpart, are luckier in that they know where to come for help when needed yet further proof of the intelligence of Elephants.

Ndara at the Voi Stockades


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