We feel that due to misreporting in regards to Siena’s unfortunate incident with the buffalo it is time that we put the record straight so that the global audience that has taken great interest in the case can understand the realities of the situation.
First and foremost it is both KWS and DSWT’s priority that the very best treatment is offered to Siena. Already the DSWT has made an enormous financial investment to this end which is a commitment that DSWT will continue to provide throughout Siena’s healing process.
However, we need to juggle all the dynamics of this situation and never lose sight of what is in the best interests of the bigger picture; Siena and her cubs. Siena has milk dependent cubs and every operation and anesthetic not only risks her life but compromises her milk production, immunity and respiratory function. Because of this, operations need to be measured and thought about carefully. We are dealing with a wild cat whose constant licking of her wounds compromises sutures. Most importantly, wild animals have remarkable healing powers of their own and this cannot be lost sight of.
We have been observing Siena religiously, every single day, with updates from Patrick Reynolds from Governors Camp. On the 10th of April, the vets were concerned that the wound was becoming infected. The decision was made to dart Siena and treat her again. She had removed some stitches and there was also some necrotic tissue, fly eggs and maggots in the wound. The vet opened the wound, disinfected and cleaned it before re-suturing. An opening was left for drainage of any pus and she was given more Antibiotics and Anti-parasitic medication.
On the 14th of April, onlookers observed pus coming from Siena’s wound and believed it to be infected. Dr Limo and his team were called in and darted her a third time. They found that the sutures were still intact and in fact the pus was coming from the drainage opening which was normal. Dr Limo however used swabs, surgical spirits and disinfectant to make sure the wound was clean before giving her a further antibiotic. It was advised at this point that Siena must not be anesthetized again for at least 10 – 14 days, especially since she had been treated three times in two weeks.
On the 15th of April we heard word from Governors Camp that the Marsh Pride had killed a female buffalo the day before and Siena was still nursing her cubs. However, on the 17th of April we were informed that Siena’s stitches had come away from the wound and the Mara Vet Team responded immediately. Even though the wound was open Siena was seen to be walking strongly, suckling her cubs and feeding well. The wound was a healthy pink which means it is healing well and has a healthy blood supply. The edges were clean and were healing slowly with no evidence of maggots or infection. The major concern was the deeper injury in the center of the wound. However, Siena had managed to remove the strongest sutures available so using these again was deemed to be futile at this point given all the above considerations.
In the meantime stronger sutures have been sourced and made available, but after much deliberation the decision was made to continue to monitor Siena’s progress. A further treatment presented too much risk to Siena and her cubs and since she was still doing well it was thought to be more detrimental to treat her a fourth time at this stage. If however, there was any change in her condition, evidence of infection or if she stopped feeding the team is on standby and continues to monitor her.
Siena has licked away the surface sutures and her skin but for the most part we feel that the healing process is taking place naturally; she is feeding on kills regularly and still suckling her cubs. It may well be that a further treatment will be deemed necessary as the team takes stock of Siena’s recovery day by day. Your support and understanding is deeply appreciated.
To view the first update on Siena's treatment on the 4th April please follow the link below