Four lame animals were reported in the reporting period. The four were in Tsavo East and were reported to be limping from unknown causes. The first was a lone male buffalo near Tahri camp. When we observed it, we found the left fore leg to be slightly lame but there was no manifestation of pain when the animal was walking away and even when running away after we disturbed it.
The other was an elephant reported on the 24th by the resident pilot after he spotted it limping not very far from the same Tahri camp. He directed us to the site from the air as the area had dense bushes and not very accessible from the ground. When we found the nine-year-old elephant, we could not tell the nature of the problem from a distance because of the bushes but we could see it limping heavily from its left hind leg. We therefore decided to immobilise it for examination and diagnosis. This was accomplished on foot.
Lastly we immobillised a female waterbuck at Ndara ranch for examination and treatment of the lameness of the left fore leg. This is one of the animals translocated to the ranch from Bamburi Haller Park (Lafarge ecosystems) last year. The condition had been reported several days before but the management was advised to observe and report if it persisted. The tentative diagnosis was a foreign object or abscess between the toes.
Further to the above cases, I also attended a wildlife scientific conference between the 18th and 20th April in Nairobi. The theme of the conference was ‘Research Imperatives for Biodiversity Conservation and Management’. I made a presentation on the impacts of rinderpest disease in wildlife and its surveillance in Kenya in the three critical ecosystems of Somali (North-eastern & eastern), Tsavo-Amboseli and Rift valley/Maasai. The areas where susceptible wildlife species were sampled in these ecosystems were those where wildlife interact highly with livestock, particularly the Somali livestock. The presentation entailed a review of veterinary data between 2000 and 2006.
The Mobile Veterinary Unit operated by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust working with The Kenyan Wildlife Service and funded by Vier Pfoten