Together Mobilising Aerial Veterinary Support

The David Sheldrick Wildlife trust is committed to further supporting the KWS in implementing increased measures to overcome the current challenges in protecting and supporting Kenyas wildlife, helping to take even greater action in the field against the growing threat of illegal poaching and the physical damages of such activities on wildlife species. The DSWT and the KWS is now jointly operating three successful mobile veterinary units with KWS field veterinary officers within the Tsavo Conservation Area, the Masai Mara and Central Rift, and now the Meru ecosystem and the northern and eastern conservancies. The DSWTs veterinary commitment to the care and treatment of wildlife in Kenya is ongoing and the trust is always seeking new solutions to the ever-evolving changes and situations affecting all wild species and especially Kenyas threatened elephant populations.

Additional to the jointly operated KWS/DSWT mobile veterinary units, there are further dedicated field veterinary officers within a pool of veterinary officers based at the KWSs Nairobi headquarters, between which the Kenya Wildlife Service is well staffed to expertly support and treat all cases reported, yet logistically there is a deficiency in mobilizing available veterinary officers in Nairobi to locations where serious and urgent cases have been reported, which are, for various reason, unable to be treated by the closest mobile vet, taking into consideration whether the unit is on leave or already called to another case.

With the DSWTs experience of operating hand-in-hand with the KWS in the field, there is a great opportunity to increase the mobilization of KWS field veterinary officers ensuring the effective rapid response needed to tackle the present threat of losing yet more elephants and wild species throughout Kenya, which would be an extremely beneficial addition to the Veterinary Department.

For these reasons the DSWT has combined efforts with the Kenya Wildlife Service in establishing a new veterinary mobilization interface known as the KWS/DSWT Sky Vets, which will facilitate and fund the deployment of available KWS veterinary officers from the dedicated veterinary pool in Nairobi to field cases throughout Kenya when the dedicated mobile veterinary units are unable to respond to a specific report. Emergency cases to be considered for this service will be approved in consultation between the KWS and the DSWT when reports are received.

The Sky Vets initiative has the ability of becoming a hugely effective and vital deployment procedure ensuring rapid veterinary response and access to emergency wildlife cases in support of the current mobile veterinary units, during a time when such wildlife support is needed the most, and whilst a significant number of key threatened wildlife species have the chance to be saved.

The success of this initiative relies on communication. Please call the DSWT Nairobi HQ at +254 (0) 202 301 396 if you wish to report an emergency wildlife case.

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