SWT/KWS Quarterly Mobile Vet Report October to December 2022

Published on the 15th of January, 2023

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.

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