On the 1st of January 2014 KWS reported to our Voi Elephant Keepers a case on Sagala Ranch, adjacent to Tsavo East National Park, that required a rescue team. Only once the team arrived on the scene did it become evident just how bad the situation was. A young yearling calf with a horrendous cable snare caught tightly around her front leg, almost amputating it, was the victim of a snare obviously set targeting an adult elephant. The pain she must have been in was unimaginable.
Once at the stockade they used a hacksaw to remove the winch snare and then set about cleaning the wound. She was placed in a taming stockade for the night, given water and freshly cut greens, but she was in no mood to take any milk from the Keepers. The following morning, on the 2nd of January, the Nairobi team flew down to Voi to bring the calf to the Nairobi Nursery. This would ensure that she had the best possible intensive care. Her condition was very poor, she had obviously been without her mother for some time, and caught in a snare is no doubt the reason for her being orphaned. Her family, unwilling to compromise the whole herd, would have had to make the heartbreaking decision to abandon her.
She was fighting hard to live, but one very worrying thing was she would not take any milk. She fed on greens and water with rehydration salts all from a bucket.
After the third day she began to take a little milk from the bucket, but being a milk dependent calf, the fact that her feeding was so poor, compromised her strength and slowly she became weaker. We tried simply everything, but of course the pain must have been a huge factor. The wound appeared to be healing, although much of the bone remained exposed. We all prayed for a miracle, for watching such an innocent animal suffer so much was enough to break anyone’s heart, and it was very traumatic for those who had to witness it day in and day out. Sagalla sadly lost her fight and the chance of a full and wild life. She died at 4.00pm on the 8th of January.
This was a haunting reminder of just how much suffering the thirst to own ivory causes, and what terrible Karma must be attached to each and every ivory piece, for it comes at such a price.
How misguided some people are; we MUST MUST MUST fight for change. Any and every one can make a difference. You can make a donation towards the Trust's project by clicking this link; https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/is/donate_now.asp
Visit our iworry campaign to see how you too can make a difference on this link:http://www.iworry.org/