On the afternoon on the 10th of November DSWT Executive Director Angela Sheldrick called DSWT helicopter pilot Humphrey Carter to explain to him that the famous big tusker "Tim" had been seen and reported wounded in Amboseli on Saturday the 8th, and that by 3.00pm on Monday he had still not been found to treat – The DSWT Helicopter had been requested to help locate this well know iconic bull by KWS Veterinary officer Dr. Njoroge who heads the DSWT funded Southern Conservation Mobile Veterinary Unit which covers the Amboseli ecosystem along with the Southern end of Tsavo West.
The helicopter was airborne in 20 minutes from the Trust’s Field headquarters at Kaluku bordering Tsavo and picked up the Amboseli KWS Vet Dr Njoroge at 4pm along with a KWS ranger who knew the area he had last been spotted and together they began the search.
The team flew for about 45 minutes before they sighted the huge bull with a wound oozing pus high on his left hip. KWS Veterinary Officer Dr. Njoroge concluded that the wound required treatment. DSWT pilot Humphrey guided the elephant out from the dense vegetation onto a more suitable open area and then landed so that Dr Njoroge could prepare his dart gun. Once everything was planned and prepared they then took off again, this time with Dr. Njoroge in the back with his dart gun at the ready and the doors off. "Tim" was darted successfully from the air, and went down nine minutes later.
The Vet was immediately dropped where "Tim" lay and the DSWT Mobile Veterinary vehicle and team were on site in minutes.
This magnificent elephant of 45 years old was treated for a deep spear wound. The wound was septic, and was estimated to be one week old. It required thorough cleaning and the narcotic flesh to be cut away and antibiotics administered. Then green clay was placed into the wound in order to keep further infection at bay. After a 25 minute operation Dr. Njoroge administered the revival drug and the bull was up on his feet by 6pm looking majestic and encircled by a rainbow. Beautiful light streaming in from the west shone on "Tim" and his rescue team, with Mt. Kilimanjaro free from cloud as a backdrop.