Meru Mobile Veterinary Unit - February 2018

Published on the 19th of February, 2018

Summary This report describes activities of the Meru Veterinary Unit in February 2018


This report describes activities of the Meru Veterinary Unit in February 2018. Northern Kenya has been dry with declining pasture and water resources and increasing interaction between livestock, wildlife and humans. However, there were few reported cases of human/ wildlife conflict resulting in wildlife injuries.

Among the activities carried out by the unit was the translocation of two lions from Sericho, Isiolo County to Meru National Park to reduce livestock depredation following complains by the local community. Fifteen elephant bulls were also translocated from Solio/ Sangare area in Laikipia County to Tsavo West National Park. This activity was carried out in collaboration with the Mt. Kenya/ Southern Laikipia Veterinary Unit and a capture team from KWS Headquarters. It is hoped the removal of the bulls will reduce human wildlife conflict in the area due to loss of crop and human life. This report was submitted separately by Dr. Mijele of Mt. Kenya/ Southern Laikipia veterinary unit.

In Naibunga Conservancy we attended to an elephant which showed lameness and in Meru National Park an eland was treated for lameness. In Aquilla farm, Naivasha we removed a snare which had caused severe injuries on a zebra.

The unit acknowledges support of the David Sheldrick wildlife Trust and KWS management to provide veterinary intervention to Wildlife in Northern Kenya.


Date: 11th February 2018

Species: African elephant

Sex: Female         

Location: Naibunga conservancy

GPS coordinates: 37N 271870 UTM 54172


A sub- adult elephant was reported to be lame by Naibunga Conservancy Rangers. The elephant presented with weight shifting lameness favouring the right forelimb which was visibly swollen. The body condition was good, but the young elephant was alone and had a slightly irritable demeanor.

Immobilization, examination and treatment

The elephant was immobilized using 12mg of Etorphine Hydrochloride and went down on lateral recumbency.

The right forelimb was swollen around the carpal joint, manipulations of the limb produced crackling sounds and aspiration of the swelling produced a blood tinged aspirate. It was diagnosed with fracture and subsequent hematoma formation.

The elephant was treated using 3000mg Amoxicillin Trihydrate and 100mg Dexamethasone administered intramuscularly.

Reversal and Prognosis

Anesthesia was reversed using 36 mg of Diprenorphine hydrochloride intravenously at a prominent ear vein and the elephant was up on its feet 5 minutes later. The fracture hematoma plays an important part in the initial stage of regenerative process of fracture healing as a source of inflammatory cells which aid in the bone healing process. The elephant was young and has a chance of healing completely. Healing may be prolonged due to the long distance the elephant would have to cover to get to a water point during the drought season.


Date: 15th February 2018

Species: Eland

Sex: Female         

Location: Meru National Park

GPS coordinates: 37N 406732 UTM 28401


The adult female eland was lame on its right forelimb with slight swelling around the pastern joint. The animal showed signs of pain and discomfort. When standing the animal presented with non weight bearing lameness and on the trot weight shifting lameness favouring the affected limb.

Immobilization, examination and treatment

This eland was immobilized using 10mg of Etorphine Hydrochloride and 120mg of Azaperone tartarate combined in a 3ml Dan-Inject intramuscular dart.  It went down on sternal recumbency before a blind fold was applied.

The affected limb was swollen with no visible injury. Following joint manipulation and deep palpation the vet determined this was not a fracture but more likely a sprain. The eland was treated with Dexamethasone 60mg administered intramuscularly.

Reversal and Prognosis

Anesthesia was reversed using 30 mg of Diprenorphine hydrochloride intravenously at the jugular vein and the animal was up on its feet 4 minutes later. Prognosis is good.


Date: 24 – 28 February 2018

Species: Lion

Sex: Female

Capture site: Sericho (37 N 516794 UTM 124305)

Release site: Meru national park (37 N 407727 UTM 17351)


Two adult female lionesses were captured and translocated from Sericho, Isiolo North, to Meru National Park between the 24th February and 28th February following complaints from the community regarding loss of livestock from predation.

The lions were enticed at night using bait and call backs before being immobilized using 4mg of Medetomidine and 296 mg of Ketamine hcl combined in a 3ml Dan-Inject intramuscular dart. An additional dose of 150mg Ketamine hcl was administered intramuscularly to ensure safe transport of the lions to the site where the cages were located. One of the lionesses was fitted with a tracking collar.

A reversal drug was not administered and the lions were left to sleep off the drug effects in the cages before transport. Both lionesses were alert and fully recovered within 3hrs and transported safely to Meru National Park.


Date: 28 February 2018

Species: Common zebra

Sex: Male

Location: Aquilla Farm, Naivasha (37 M 205504 UTM 991676)


This zebra had a tight snare around its right hind leg proximal to the hoof. It was immobilized to remove the snare on 28 February 2018.

Immobilization, examination and management

The zebra was darted using a combination of Etorphine and Azaperone in a 3 millimeter dart. It was darted from a vehicle after a brief chase. Down time was 5 minutes.

Examination showed a tight winch wire snare which had cut through the soft coronary band tissue on the right hind leg. The snare was removed by untying the slip knot. Subsequently wounds were treated by cleaning with water and dilute Hydrogen peroxide. Povidone iodine and a topical antibiotic spray were also applied. Parenteral Betamox trihydrate and Dexamethasone were given by intramuscular route.

Reversal of anesthesia and prognosis

Reversal of anesthesia was achieved using Naltrexone hydrochloride 80mg through the jugular vein. The zebra was standing two minutes after administration of the reversal drugs. It is expected that this zebra will regain full health within two weeks.