Towards the end of June, the Mara mobile Vet Unit was informed by The Narok District Game Warden of a bull elephant that was injured and required the attention of our unit. We set out for the drive from Masai Mara to the Ol Donyo Rasha Hills, some 50 Miles where he had been seen last.We arrived at the spot in the afternoon and started searching for this particular bull and fortunately late in the afternoon we were lucky to find him. He was walking with a heavy limp and closer examination revealed a very swollen front right foot with pus oozing from an injury on the joint just above the toes. The Vet successfully darted him and he went down fifteen minutes later. Further examination revealed a deep wound inflicted by a very sharp object which we suspected was poisoned thus causing severe gangrenous swelling of the whole foot of this bull.
We used Hydrogen Peroxide to clean and disinfect the wound and thereafter a tincture of Iodine and antibiotic spray to keep flies and pathogenic organisms away. Thereafter Long Acting IM injections and Anti Inflammatory Injections were administered and later the Elephant was revived from Anesthesia. At first we were apprehensive if he would be able to stand on his own due to the severity of his wound, but when he did, we were all overjoyed.
Three Days later, it seemed his health deteriorated and he moved closer to a Maasai Manyatta. The Masai herd boys around the Manyatta were curious of him, afraid of him, yet curious. The Masai elders decided to call the Kenya Wildlife Service rangers to assess the situation, to determine what to do, as they felt that he posed a threat to them. The rangers in turn called us, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust mobile veterinary unit, and because of my understanding of elephants having been an elephant Keeper for many years, I personally persuaded them to give the Elephant one more week before considering any further action. I knew it was the elephants' uncanny wisdom that he could seek a secure location to heal, where he was not vulnerable to poachers who might take advantage of his immobility. He had no intention of causing harm, but just sought their protection. Everyone concerned agreed to this. True to my thinking I was utterly surprised and overjoyed when two weeks later I met the rangers who informed me that the Elephant had healed, was able to move albeit with a slight limp and joined the other wild elephant families in the area.
Again the Mara Mobile vet unit wishes to thank the Management of the Trust, all our Donors, Partners in Conservation and everyone else involved in whichever way that has made the work of this important unit so successful. Thank you! Micheni Felix- Mara Vet Unit.