The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT), in conjunction with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) operate six Mobile Veterinary Units. Within the quarter, the Units attended to a total of 137 wildlife cases involving 658 animals.
There were 47 elephant, 8 predator, 16 rhino, 43 plains game, 18 giraffe, 1 buffalo and 2 security dogs cases as well as a research survey on 469 zebra/wildebeest/buffalo/hippo/elephant which present with severe emaciation and pale and dried mucous membranes which was attributed to drought related complications.
Out of the poaching cases, there were 24 snaring cases, 6 spear, 5 arrow and 2 bullet wounds. The majority of the snare cases were plains game with 13 zebra, 1 eland and 1 waterbuck treated for snare related injuries as well as 4 giraffe. Thankfully all were treated successfully except one zebra which had to be euthanised as the injury to the leg was too severe. 3 elephants, a serval cat and a leopard were also successfully treated for snare injuries. Of the 12 other poaching cases, there was only 1 death, an elephant with a severe spear injury. An elephant with a bullet wound and one with an arrow wound were given a guarded prognosis.
Unfortunately due to the prolonged drought, there was an increase in post-mortems and natural cases. 24 of these cases involved elephants who were the most severely affected. There were also 5 elephant calf rescues caused by drought as the mothers could either not support the calf or had succumbed.
Of the cases there was a 67% success rate and only 3% death rate due to poaching or human-wildlife conflict. Unfortunately, there was a 17% death rate due to natural causes, again attributed to the ongoing drought.