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 Tsavo's Deadly Spike in Poison-Arrow Poaching - 8/12/2013
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Another young elephant in severe distress was reported on the 8th of August to the DSWT’s Headquarters at Kaluku in Tsavo East, by the staff of the Tsavo Safari Camp, which is located across the Athi River.  The report was given to the KWS/DSWT Mobile Veterinary Unit and the Mtito Anti-Poaching team, who were dispatched to monitor the calf until the veterinary unit could get to the scene. Tsavo is a vast landscape with challenging distances and at the time of the report the mobile veterinary unit was on another call over 150 km away, so they had to quickly make their way by road.

The young bull was monitored  The bull was sedated for treatment

When the vet arrived at the scene the young bull was immediately darted and a large poisoned arrow embedded deep into the calf's leg was located and removed.  The necrotic flesh was cut away and the wound was cleaned, before antibiotics were administered and green clay was applied to the wound.  When the bull, who although young was now old enough to look after himself, was revived it was evident that the operation had provided instant relief.  All at the DSWT are hopeful that this young bull will make a full recovery in time thanks to those who first reported his plight and all those involved in his rescue and treatment.  

The Vet got to work  The poisoned arrow was removed



There has been a deadly spike in poisoned arrow poaching in the past months.  The price of ivory is driving the demand, and for many impoverished communities on the boundaries of National Parks this is far too tempting.  The punishments to date have not fitted the crime and only recently the Kenyan Government is trying hard to address this issue and impose more deterrent punishments with penalties of 15 years prison and/or fines of KSH 10,000,000/- for anyone caught poaching elephants and rhinos in Kenya.  Up until now magistrates throughout the country have often been compromised and paltry fines have been issued to those who have been arrested in possession of ivory.   We are hopeful that the new penalties will become mandatory and legal in the very near future, as it certainly needs to be put in place urgently if Kenya's elephants are to be saved.   

The arrow that could kill an elephant if not removed  All the team work together to save the bull

   

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