For over a week in early April everyone at DSWT, KWS, Save the Elephants (STE) and their followers, watched an elephant called Cherie fight for her life
For over a week in early April everyone at DSWT, KWS, Save the Elephants (STE) and their followers, watched an elephant called Cherie fight for her life. Cherie is a female elephant from a family known as the First Ladies in Samburu, Northern Kenya. She had appeared sick with stomach pains before finally collapsing on the 7th April 2014 with her approximately 6 month old calf beside her. KWS veterinary officer, Dr. Bernard Rono, who heads the DSWT funded Meru Mobile veterinary unit, was called to Samburu to inspect her from a safe distance as she was clearly too weak to survive an anesthetic. Dr. Rono could determine no visible injury and could not be certain what her ailment was. It was heartbreaking for all involved to be so close but unable to treat Cherie, instead having to rely on the elephants amazing healing powers and hope for the best.
Cherie was monitored over night with a rescue team ready to retrieve her young calf if the worse should happen. However, on the morning of the 8th April Cherie was found on her feet feeding, with her calf suckling and her family all around her. Everyone’s hopes were briefly lifted but sadly it was not to be. By the afternoon Cherie again lay down on the river bank and seemed to be fading away. Her calf now too seemed to be appearing weaker and more listless, as if he hadn’t been getting enough milk. The team was torn between rescuing the young calf, which would mean euthanizing Cherie, or giving her another chance to make a recovery. Again Cherie seemed to make a vast improvement over night and on the 9th of April was found feeding on Commiphora bushes which the Samburu people also use for medicine, but poor Cherie collapsed by the afternoon leaving everyone in suspense.