On Ngorare Ranch in Rumuruti the ranch manager reported on the 8th of Ferbruary news of a tiny baby bull elephant with a snare wound tight around his leg.
The DSWT/KWS Meru Mobile Veterinary Unit headed by seconded KWS Veterinary Officer Bernard Rono was called upon to respond immediately. The tiny snared elephant was in a herd of 30 elephants who seemed agitated when the land cruiser approached. The injured calf’s mother had to be darted as it would have been impossible to otherwise treat the tiny calf. Once his mother was asleep the team were quick to restrain the baby to avoid the risk of anesthetic and cut away the snare and necrotic flesh which must have been causing him unspeakable agony. The snare was on the right forelimb and had cut through the skin causing a deep severely infected wound and the foot was extremely swollen. After the wound was cleaned, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drugs were administered by intramuscular injection and finally green clay applied.
The mother was then revived but sped off confused and frightened leaving her calf behind with the veterinary team. They were forced to physically restrain the baby again, and place him in the back of a pick up vehicle until such time as they got close enough to the herd to reunite him. Thankfully he called out, and his mother immediately responded rushing to his aid and he joined up with her and the rest of his family unit. The suffering caused by this crude poaching technique of snaring, so indiscriminate, is unimaginable. The importance of our anti poaching teams constantly patrolling the protected areas and their boundaries to rid them of snares is graphically illustrated with this case, but thankfully we are hopeful that this baby will make a full recovery.
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