A report from the Mara North Conservancy of an elephant cow with an arrow head lodged in her ear jolted the SWT/KWS Mara Veterinary team into action on the afternoon of 24th of April.
After a challenging two hour journey over difficult terrain the team arrived at the location, a small hill covered by volcanic rocks making accessibility impossible. Help from a Mara Elephant Project ground team and the MEP's leased helicopter coaxed the patient and her calf downhill, making it possible for the Veterinary team to eventually successfully dart the injured mother.
There was the added complication that her baby was sticking close, and as she slumped asleep the young calf hovered around. The seasoned Veterinary Team lept into action trying to minimise the operation time, and leaving the baby to remain by her mother's side. They immediately removed the arrow head before thoroughly cleaning, debriding and disinfecting the septic wound. Antibiotics were then administered and the lactacting mum revived without delay.
Once back up on her feet mum and calf went off in different directions, which was a concern. The helicopter was able to herd the mum towards the calf while the Vet Team guided the baby towards her mum. Their combined efforts paid off when the two finally united and walked off happily together. It was a tearful moment for all given the happy ending. The prognosis for the mother is excellent and the team wishes both mother and calf a long and happy life in the plains and river forests of the Maasai Mara ecosystem.
Report from the SWT/KWS Mara Veterinary Unit.