A speared Mara River Crocodile

Published on the 10th of July, 2021

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, a distress call came in from the Lemek Conservancy in the Northern tip of the Mara about a Crocodile that had been sighted with a two metre long spear penetrating his back, bent backwards towards his tail.

The Crocodile was located in the northern area of the Mara, near a tourist facility, lying forlornly on the banks of the mighty Mara River, which was teeming with numerous other crocodiles and hippos at the time.

The Mara Vet team arrived at the scene to assess the situation. Despite the human action around him the croc just lay there, seemingly begging for help.

With hippo grunts and groans along that stretch of the river it almost looked like a mission impossible. Capturing the Crocodile with a net was an option but the bank was too steep and water was flowing fast. A second option was devised to lower a capture rope and hook the spear using a long stick, with the other end tied to one of the trees lining the banks. Amazingly, the croc remained lying there patiently in the midst of all the commotion as the team undertook several attempts at this precarious operation.

Hope was fading. With a master stroke of luck, finally the rope hooked the spear and everyone present assisted in pulling it out. The efforts paid off when the spear came off the Crocodile's back.

At that point, I guess the croc felt relieved and dived off into the waters.

Everyone was so happy and excited with the outcome, and the croc stopped there in the waters starboard gazing at his rescuers and probably in a show of gratitude at humans who eased off his excruciating back pains.

- By Felix Micheni from the SWT/KWS Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit

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