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 The shocking damage of a cable snare - and the satisfaction of providing relief - 6/16/2014
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On the 15th of June, Nick Trent, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Chief pilot, was flying back from Lamu to the Trust's Kaluku headquarters.   He observed in Tsavo East National Park while flying along the Galana River a number of elephants in or on the waters edge.   Nick noticed one female spraying water excessively on her head, and instinctively felt that something was wrong so circled to take a second and more closer look.

Galana River  

He then observed her struggle up the river bank,  so circled once again and saw she was hunched as she walked and that one ear was not flapping.  A closer look revealed a cable around her neck.  

It was late in the evening,  too late to respond,  so Nick planned together with KWS that the KWS/DSWT Mobile Veterinary Unit, headed by Dr. Poghon, would meet with him early the next morning.   Today,  the morning of the 16th of June, after two hours of searching for her from the air Nick finally caught up with her 5 kms away from where she was seen the previous day.  He landed on a nearby road and waited for Dr. Poghon and the team, and together they drove off road to the location where the elephant was spotted from the air. 

Nick identifies that the female elephant has a cable snare around her neck.  

 

Nick lands on a nearby road  

She was darted with ease and the cable snare that was cutting through her neck and causing her such excruciating agony was cut with wire cutters and pulled away from her severed flesh.  Her terrible wounds were treated in an operation that took forty five minutes.   

The cable snare had cut right into her neck and she must have been in unspeakable agony  

  

Once she got back to her feet her relief was tangible but her road to recovery will be slow. Her wound was extensive but in the fullness of time she should heal.   She has a big N sprayed on her back for future identification so that she can be monitored from the air in the coming days and a follow up operation will be made possible if necessary.

 

   

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