His Masai Mara Conservancy mother had advanced septicaemia, possibly as the result of a snake-bite, or so the Vet that treated her surmised. She was already very ill when her baby was born, possibly her underside too painful to even allow him to try and suckle so from the moment he entered the world, little Seyai was probably doomed. Possibly, the infected blood of his mother was a contributory factor to his death, another being the fact that we simply could not halt the diarrheoa he came with, despite trying everything in the book, even an infusion of blood plasma taken under anaesthesia from “Galana”.
The fact that his mother was dry was established when she was immobilized having her wounds treated, and the already emaciated and dehydrated condition of her baby another pointer. As soon as we saw him we knew he was a Colostrum deprived candidate and that his chances of survival were slim, the infusion of blood plasma being the last ditch stand. This has to be a last ditch initiative, because the anaesthetic poses a risk to the healthy donor elephant as well as the ailing patient that might die anyway. One could loose both.
Although the Vet managed to clean the mother’s wound and cut away necrotic flesh, she was up and on her feet again before time, so he could not administer the antibiotic and her baby was already too weak to follow and faced certain death. He was therefore accepted as an orphan and flown to the Nairobi Nursery rather than sanction a grissly end that could leave his mother more wounded should she try and save him. The one piece of good news to an otherwise tragic story is the fact that his mother has been seen since, and the abscess on her belly is much reduced, so we are hopeful that she will make a full recovery, and in the fullness of time be blessed with another healthy baby.
We named this tiny 4 day old calf, Seyia after the reeds that adorn the pastures of his birthplace. He was such a little fighter, and tried so hard to live, but from the start the odds were stacked against him. He simply never thrived and after three weeks of struggle, and mountains of medication, we knew that this was a battle destiny had decided was not going to be won. He passed away quietly and peacefully this morning at 8 a.m., a skeletal and tragic little figure, whose suffering had at last ended. Rest in peace little Seyai, a very brave little elephant who tried so hard to live.