Published on the 15th of January, 2016
FIELD VETERINARY REPORT FOR MASAI MARA – JANUARY 2016
By Dr. Campaign K. Limo
The month was characterized by moderate to no precipitation with good vegetation for grazers and browsers. Many elephants are seen in the reserve while smaller herbivores have moved out to conservancies where grass cover is low and is not an impediment to their security. There were few cases reported requiring clinical intervention and could be attributed to reduced conflict between wildlife, humans and domestic animals due to abundance of water and pasture.
The following cases and activities were handled during the month.
CASE#1 SICK LIONESS
Date: 23rd January 2016
Species: African lion
Location: Look out (MMNR)
This lioness is a member of Notch pride and was reported to the Vet Unit by MMNR rangers. A tour guide had seen this lioness recumbent and informed the patrol rangers who confirmed and reported to us.
Examination and Treatment
This lioness was found by the road on right lateral recumbency hardly able to raise her head .Her body condition was good suggesting that her problem was acute. She had meleanic diarrhoea and appeared to be drifting into shock. Hemmorhagic enteritis was suspected with possible intestinal mucosal erosion and perforation.
The lioness was given 3000mgs Amoxicillin antibiotics and 20mgs Dexamethasone Sodium anti-inflammatory parenterally. Atropine sulphate was also administered intramuscularly. All these injections were done by hand as this lioness was inactive and could hardly move.
She was pulled and turned to lie on the other side in the shade. County government rangers were tasked to monitor her throughout the night but she died before dawn and the carcass was extensively scavenged by hyenas so no meaningful post mortem could be carried out. The rest of the pride members were in good condition.
CASE#2 REPORTED INJURED ELEPHANT
Date: 24th January 2016
Species: African elephant
Location: Siana conservancy
The KWS security team doing patrols at Siana conservancy saw a herd of elephants in a thicket below a hill in Siana conservancy. One of them appeared to be harbouring a wound on her rump. They called the veterinary unit for assessment and possible treatment.
Since the area was inaccessible owing to poor terrain and thick vegetation, assessment was done by use of a helicopter. After a thorough search, the herd was spotted up in the hill in a very thick vegetation. This was a group of ten elephants in good health. The one thought to be injured had a healed scar on her right rump and intervention was not required as the wound had long healed.
CASE#3 ELEPHANT COLLARING EXERCISE
This exercise is on-going and targets ten mature candidates of either sex for monitoring and research. Elephants within MMNR, surrounding conservancies and community areas are being targeted for this. In total ten elephants are to be collared with five so far already collared. This is a collaboration between KWS, WWF and Narok county government. The Mara mobile veterinary team is doing this in conjunction with the capture team from KWS headquarters. So far the activity is going on well.
During the month, The Mara vet was also called as an expert witness to provide evidence in a case involving the poisoning of the marsh pride lions in MMNR.The hearing was held in a Narok court. The poisoning led to the loss of some members of the famous marsh pride lions.
The Mara Vet Unit is grateful to all stakeholders who provided support in terms of case reporting and follow-up during the period. Thanks to Minara foundation through The David Sheldrick Foundation for their continuous facilitation to the unit. Thanks too to KWS for their technical support and guidance to the unit. Your contributions means a lot to the unit.