Thanks to the passion and generosity of one person who wished to support an initiative that could make a tangible difference to elephants The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in conjunction with the Kenya Wildlife Service has launched a new Project - SKY VETS. This gives us the ability to fly KWS Vets anywhere in Kenya in order to give timely emergency treatment to save an elephants life when our Mobile Veterinary Teams are away on off duty or otherwise monopolized and unable to respond for a whatever reason.
Aside from the dedicated support of The Kenya Wildlife Service towards this initiative, Air Charter companies and Tour Operators and Conservancy Managers alike assist in whatever way they can to ensure the success of our SKY VET initiative.
A graphic illustration of the SKY VET at work is the case of the well known collared elephant called OMONDI in the Masai Mara. The Kenya Wildlife Service veterinary headquarters received a report on Friday afternoon, May 3rd, that OMONDI had been speared and had a serious injury as a result. Since the Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit was away on off duty at the time KWS Vet Dr. Njorogi from the Nairobi KWS headquarters was flown at the expense of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in a charter plane directly to Siana Springs Airfield in the Masai Mara. There he was met and immediately taken to the location of the wounded elephant. Treatment was administered and the prognosis of recovery, promising. The spear wound had penetrated deep into Omondi's side with subcutaneous tissue spilling out from the wound. This was cut away and the wound cleaned treated and antibiotic administered. From the report to the treatment only 3 hours had lapsed, and in view of the dramatic distances involved this could be the difference between life and death for the elephant named OMONDI.
His progress from here on will be followed by the Trusts funded Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit which returns to duty today.
A second elephant was treated the following morning by Dr. Njoroge before he was flown back to Nairobi. The injuries on the second elephant were not serious and he is expected to make a full recovery.