Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit - May 2012

Introduction The month of May witnessed some scattered showers that were below normal and worries of total failure of April- May long rains is now real

Introduction The month of May witnessed some scattered showers that were below normal and worries of total failure of April- May long rains is now real. As the dry period extends beyond its limits, cases of injuries are expected to increase. Cases handled ranged from problematic leopard to injuries in small grazers. Conflict related cases are expected to increase.

Examination and release of a problematic leopard from Northern Tsavo East, 11th May 2012 Leopards continue to be a source of conflict in areas where prey species have been reduced or decimated through bush meat activities, this are mostly in areas in community lands and ranches. The leopard was trapped after killing several goats in northern Tsavo East Park. It was brought to the clinic where it was anaesthetized and examined. The canines and claws were observed and found to be in good condition. Being in good body condition, he was released back to the park near Galana River. Leopards attack livestock usually when there is no prey available or its too old to hunt hence targets easy prey.

Assessment of an elephant bull with hind limb deformity, 14th May 2012 The elephant with hind limb deformity was seen in Aruba area of Tsavo East National Park foraging with 8 other male elephants. The team visited and examined both the leg and elephant movements from a short distance. The bull didnt show any signs of pain and could place some weight on the affected leg. Conclusion was made that this was an old wound that healed with leg deformity and poses no danger to the Elephant.

Rescued of a stranded Zebra in Likoni area of Mombasa, 23rd May. The female Zebra was reported by a south coast resident to have strayed into his compound the previous night from unknown location. Zebras have never been reported in Shimba hills and Mombasa area and thought to have been kept illegally in the area. Darting was done using 6mgs of etorphine and 60 mgs of xylazine. She was transported through the Likoni ferry to Haller Park in Bamburi where she got a secured home. It was revived by use of Diprenorphine and Antisedan and released in good condition.

Post-translocation Visit to Elands in Shimba hills, 23rd May 2012. In the month of March 2012 four Elands were moved from Nguuni Sanctuary near Haller Park, Bamburi Mombasa to Shimba hills. After nearly two months one of the Elands died from an injury in the thoracic wall while another appeared sickly. General investigation revealed high population of Tsetse flies within the area and infection of Trypanasomosis for the sick individual.

Advice Treatment of the infected individual and prophylactic treatment of the healthy ones, though they may be under challenge already. Institute a Tsetse fly trapping immediately to reduce transmission and Tsetse bite irritation to the Elands.

Impala case with swollen ventral abdomen, 25th May. The male Impala, resident of Voi gate in Tsavo East was spotted by tourists with a swollen abdomen near the umbilicus. Darting was done with 2 mgs of etorphine and 10 mgs Xylazine. Physical exam and aspiration indicated a strangulated hernia with tissue necrosis and suppuration. Due to heavy infection and non feasibility of any operation, euthanasia was indicated.

Management: Euthanised using euthatol (E20% Pentobarbitone Sodium) rapid intravenous.

Rescue of an injured Zebra foal in Manyani, Tsavo West. 28th May. Zebra calf rescued after suspected leopard attack was examined treated and transported to Tsavo East research station for monitoring but succumbed to the injuries five hours later. Autopsy results indicated death due to excess hemorrhage from severed jugular vein.

Acknowledgements The unit appreciates the immense support of its sponsors ViER Pfoten through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Kenya Wildlife Service. We also like to thank all the stakeholders in Wildlife conservation for their quick and timely reporting of cases.

Report by: Dr Jeremiah Poghon

The Mobile Veterinary Unit operated by The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust working with The Kenyan Wildlife Service and funded by Vier Pfoten.