SWT/KWS Sky Vets Report for February - May 2022

Published on the 26th of June, 2022

Between February and May 2022, the SWT/KWS Sky Vets program responded to 14 wildlife veterinary cases across Kenya.

Eight of these were elephant treatments, including five poaching victims, one snared elephant, and four who were injured by spears. The snared elephant was an infant calf in the Shimba Hills, located near Kenya's south coast. The SWT helicopter flew the team to Kenya's south coast and then located the young patient and her mother. Fortunately, the snare was removed and the vet is optimistic that the calf will make a complete recovery. Read the full story

Snared calf in the Shimba Hills

The other elephant patients were treated successfully, although one bull was given a guarded prognosis given the gravity of his injury, which appeared to be inflicted by a spear. A very young orphan was reported in the remote Arabuko Sokoke Forest, and after attempts to locate his herd proved fruitless, he was airlifted to the Nairobi Nursery.

The other two poaching victims were a snared leopard and a speared zebra, both of whom were treated successfully. The leopard, who had been caught in a snare trap, had set about chewing off her paw to free herself. Although her injuries were severe, she is in good condition and in an area with plentiful prey, so the vet is optimistic that she will fare well. Read the full story

Leopard caught in a snare trap

In the case of the speared Zebra, he was one of three injured animals attended in the Maasai Mara in the space of two days, with the others being a lioness and a warthog. With the SWT/KWS Mara Mobile Vet Unit off duty for the first few days of May, we chartered a plane to carry KWS vet Dr Njoroge to the ecosystem to conduct the treatments. The zebra and warthog were given a good prognosis, while the lioness did not even require immobilisation as her wound was already healing.

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