EASTERN CONSERVATION AREA VETERINARY UNIT MONTHLY REPORT JUNE 2018
Report by: Bernard Rono
This report describes veterinary interventions carried out by the KWS/DSWT mobile veterinary unit based in Meru national park in June 2018. Cases included the release of a female lion captured in Solio ranch, health check of a tracker dog and routine wildlife health monitoring in the park. We would like to acknowledge support of the DSWT which provides financial and logistical support to the Meru Veterinary Unit and the KWS management for facilitating the work of this unit in northern Kenya.
CASE#1 RELEASE OF A LION FROM SOLIO RANCH IN MERU NATIONAL PARK
Species: Lion (Panthera leo)
Capture site: Solio ranch
Release site: Meru National Park
A wildlife monitoring team in Solio ranch reported that a female lion had entered a livestock enclosure and killed cattle. This ranch practices mixed wildlife/beef cattle farming and has recorded cases of livestock losses due to predation in the past. These cases are controlled by guarding and keeping cattle in fenced bomas at night. Occasionally, lions which break into the bomas are captured by KWS and relocated to other areas to alleviate losses. The lion was darted and transported in a cage trap by road to Meru National Park. In the park the lion was examined by the veterinarian, verified that it was in good health and released in a central area where it will have access to water and plenty of prey.
CASE#2 TRACKER DOG HEALTH CHECK
Routine physical examination was carried out on a tracker dog in Meru National Park on 25/6/18 to determine its health and fitness status. Triquin® was administered to prevent trypanosomiasis which is endemic in the park.
WILDLIFE HEALTH MONITORING
Patrols were carried out on a weekly basis to observe and record wildlife health status. The region has recently had a period of sustained rainfall with plenty of vegetation so the majority of wildlife were in good body condition. Many new-born elephant calves were recorded during this period in congregated herds of elephants.
We observed a 3 month old lion cub which showed mild lameness on its right hind leg but because it was in good body condition and was able to move around with the rest of the pride we recommended monitoring only and no intervention was carried out. A female adult lion which was reported by a tourist to be lethargic and emaciated was also checked but found to be in good health. An elephant which showed severe lameness in lower Imenti forest could not be found for treatment in the dense forest.