The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT), in conjunction with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) operate six Mobile Veterinary Units in the Tsavo, Mara, Amboseli, Mount Kenya, Meru and Rift Valley Regions. Within the quarter, all six of the SWT/KWS Vet Units attended to a total of 185 wildlife cases involving 367 animals.
Of the 185 cases, 68 cases were related to poaching. The majority of these were snaring cases with 48 snaring cases attended to as well as 11 spear, 7 arrow and 1 bullet wound. There was also one case where poachers were chasing an eland with dogs but thankful the Vet Unit were able to assist it in escaping. There were also 10 human-wildlife conflict cases, including the death of a hyena after it attacked a child, 2 injuries related to fencing, 1 buffalo electrocuted by a fence and a giraffe that was likely hit by a vehicle. Several animals were also relocated due to proximity with human settlements or crop destruction.
Of all the cases, 43 involved elephants; 2 snared, 9 speared, 4 arrows, 1 bullet wound, 9 for natural causes, 5 post-mortems, 9 rescues and 3 collarings. The remaining cases involved 15 predators, 6 rhinos, 79 plains game, 20 giraffes, 7 buffalo as well as ostrich, security dog, marabou stork, warthog, hippo and laughing doves. Overall, the Units had a 68% success rate and only 5% death rate due to poaching or HWC.
The Units also conducted 5 research/surveys across the country. The Rift Valley assessed giraffe condition/habitat in Soysambu Conservancy, assessment of the impacts of the drought in Lake Nakuru National Park and investigations into the status of the Sitatunga antelope in Saiwa Swamp National Park. The Tsavo Vet Unit conducted two investigations into mass mortalities of laughing doves in Tsavo East NP.