Nearly six months have passed since Enkikwe was mauled by lions and very nearly killed, down on the Kalovoto River in Ithumba on the 1st of February 2018.
Enkikwe owes his life to the bravery of wild living orphans Makena, Tumaren and Rapsu. Given the commotion that could be heard all the way back at the Ithumba Stockades and based on the footprints our trackers were able to read at the scene of the attack, this trio fought valiantly to protect Enkikwe, charging and trumpeting for a long time in order to fight off the lion and protect him, before escorting him back to the Stockades. He is such a brave elephant and has born his suffering and discomfort with both patience and enormous tolerance and as a result, is thankfully making really good progress.
For a number of months he was stockade bound and his wounds were cleaned daily, administered with antibiotics and the healing green clay too. Eventually he would spend the days around the stockades close to home, and then in time was able to keep up with the orphans at a slower pace, managing to do all of what they were doing each day, and this has got steadily better. He instinctively knows to keep out of the action so chooses not to mud bath in case he is inadvertently knocked and he does have to take things at his own pace which he seems comfortable doing; as long as he is around his friends! His wounds have healed over and best of all he is clear of all infection. His leg is rather stiff without the mobility of before, but even that is improving with him placing more and more weight on it as time passes.
It has been wonderful to watch the concern and attention Enkikwe has received from all his age mates and best friends, Siangiki, Laragai, Olsekki, Garzi, Lemoyian, Barsilinga, Kithaka, Sirimon and Boromoko, who have been vigilantly supporting Enkikwe’s throughout his ordeal and recovery. This naughty band of truants have been brought to heel with the temptation of milk bottles once more, so that they return religiously to their night stockades, and are then physically padlocked into their enclosure so that Laragai cannot open the stockade door and let them out!
At the time of the incident, Dr. Poghon anticipated that Enkikwe’s injury to the knee would take around 18 months to heal fully, but that he would be left with a permanent limp due to the ligaments and tendons being compromised; however at this stage it is clear he will certainly be able to live a normal wild life. A great concern of ours was the likely risk of infection, especially from a lion wound, but thankfully due to the constant care he has received we have been able to avoid that thus far.