On the 3rd of July the DSWT received a report from Space for Giants and Loisaba Ranch in Laikipia about an elephant bull with a spear lodged in his head. This is the second case of an elephant with a spear embedded in their head that Sky Vets has teated in the past week.
Angela Sheldrick immediately coordinated from the DSWT HQ in Nairobi National Park to deploy the DSWT/KWS Sky Vet to attend to this emergency case. Kenya Wildlife Service Field Veterinarian Dr Bernard Rono, who is seconded to the DSWT Veterinary Unit based in Meru National Park, was taking his off duty at the time, but made himself available to fly up to ensure that this elephant bull was treated and the spear was removed, whilst the team on the ground kept a visual on the patient.
During this time the elephant stood up again briefly before falling fortunately on the correct side enabling easy access to the metal spear shaft. Dr. Bernard Rono began pulling at the spear which was firmly lodged in the bull’s head, and everyone present was horrified to see how deep it had penertated. Once the spear was removed there was some haemorraging from his trunk, but not as much as expected. His wound was treated and long acting antibiotics were administered. When the vet was satisfied with the completion of the treatment a revival antidote was administered and the team watched on proudly as he rose to his feet. He appeared absolutely fine and slowly ambled off into the undergrowth. A coloured cross had been sprayed on his back so that his movements can be monitored in the coming days.
UPDATE FROM THE FIELD: A report from Daniel, the Space for Giants Researcher based within western Laikipia who helped with the treatment, has confirmed that this bull is recovering remarkably well from his horrific injury having been sighted recently showing great signs of improvement.
Photo curtesy of Space for Giants