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 Two Success Stories; Voi Keepers to the Rescue - 3/14/2015
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Mzima’s crystal clear springs that bubble up from the porous lava rock in the middle of Tsavo West National Park, is an oasis fringed with raffia palms in an otherwise arid land.  These stunning clear pools are home to fish, hippo and crocodiles and are relied upon by an abundance of animals.  This precious water is also piped along a direct pipeline built in 1966 to provide drinking water for Mombasa.  This pipeline runs through Tsavo West National Park and Tsavo East National Park and along the way leaks provide sought after watering and wallowing points for elephants and numerous other wildlife.  These same points can become lethal death traps for tiny vulnerable baby elephants, as with regular use they become extremely deep often with slippery well-worn sides from their continual use.

Mzima Springs Aerial View  A stranded baby needs help

In February the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Voi Keepers rescued two elephant babies along the Mzima Springs water pipeline which were then successfully reunited with their mother and herd.

Stuck on the slippery sides  The keepers extract the calf

This was a challenging undertaking as in both instances the herd was standing vigil and very agitated and aggressively charging the vehicle and men repeatedly.

The keepers point the way  Reunited!!

KWS continually monitors these watering points pre-empting these incidents by excavating the sides, but in the dry season, with literally hundreds of elephants converging daily, the risk remains along what is literally hundreds of miles of pipeline.

Stuck on the pipeline  The Voi Keepers come to the rescue

Thankfully in Tsavo East Voi this stretch of pipeline is a popular tourist route and in the case of these two stricken babies they were seen by tourists and reported to KWS in time enabling the David Sheldrick Wildlife Team to rescue them and reunite them before their mothers and herd had abandoned them.

The Voi Keepers come to the rescue  The Keepers leave the way

Free at last  Reunited with its waiting mother

   

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