The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT), in conjunction with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) were pleased to announce the launch of the Rift Valley Vet Unit in June 2021. The Rift Valley Unit attended to 33 cases in its month of inception; the majority of which were snaring cases. All six of the SWT/KWS Vet Units attended to a total of 175 wildlife cases within the quarter.
Of the 175 cases, 61 cases were related to poaching and 12 to human-wildlife conflict. There were 52 elephant cases, 27 of which were related to poaching, including 4 snare, 11 spear, 7 arrow and 4 bullet wounds as well as 1 post-mortem that was most likely caused by a poaching attempt. The other poaching cases included a snared lion, wild dog, antelope, waterbuck, 2 giraffes, 3 buffalos and 18 zebras, 2 rhinos with bullet wounds and a speared eland and crocodile. Post-mortems were also conducted on 24 poached dikdik in 2 separate cases and 1 White rhino where the horns had been removed.
Of the Human-wildlife conflict cases, an elephant and eland were accidentally electrocuted, a buffalo was safely rescued from a man-made hole, 2 leopards and a hyena were relocated due to livestock predation and sadly 15 crocodiles, an elephant, 3 lions and a hyena were poisoned.
In addition, 56 cases involved treatment of animals for natural causes and 20 post-mortems also concluded to be natural. The Units also collared 64 zebras, 5 elephants, 7 hartebeest, 1 hyena, 5 lions and a baboon on 7 separate cases.