Veterinary Units

Alleviating the suffering of injured wild animals on an unprecedented scale

We operate five fully equipped Mobile Veterinary Units and a rapid response Sky Vets initiative headed by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) vets to alleviate the suffering of injured wild animals across Kenya.

We respond to all manner of wildlife emergencies from snares, spears, arrow and gunshot wounds, to injuries caused through human-wildlife conflict. Working in diverse habitats, our patients include injured and distressed elephants, rhinos, giraffe, zebra, lions and countless other species.

2,629

Elephant cases

3,640

Other wild animal cases

6,269

Total veterinary cases attended

2 Rapid Response Helicopters

5 Mobile Veterinary Units

1 Sky Vets

Our Veterinary Units operate in critical conservation areas throughout Kenya, treating a diverse range of animals including threatened and endangered species. Able to mount a rapid response to come to the aid of any distressed, injured or sick wild animal in need.

All our Veterinary Units are all fully equipped with custom-made vehicles, darting hatches and dart gun, equipment shelves, vaccine refrigerator, operating table and all the necessary medicines and equipment required for rapid and effective veterinary response to any case. Each team is led by a KWS veterinarian and includes KWS capture rangers and a Sheldrick Wildlife Trust driver.

Latest Veterinary Unit Updates

Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit for September 2019

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Mount Kenya Mobile Veterinary Unit for September 2019

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Amboseli Mobile Veterinary Unit for September 2019

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Meru Mobile Veterinary Unit for September 2019

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Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit for September 2019

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SWT/KWS Quarterly Mobile Vet Report July to September 2019

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Types of incidents attended by the Vet Units

  • Snares, which are traps often made out of metal wire, nylon or vegetable fibres, are indiscriminate and can cause severe injuries, suffering and pain to trapped animals.
  • Arrows, laced with poison, are used by poachers and can cause prolonged suffering, sepsis and ultimately, death.
  • Spears can cause deep wounds which can become infected, leading to sepsis.
  • Territorial fight injuries can cause lameness, affecting an animal’s ability to feed and hunt.
  • Disease outbreak, which can spread rapidly and be fatal to populations of wild species.


Areas we cover in Kenya

Name of Unit
Tsavo Veterinary Unit
Unit Leader
Area covered
Greater Tsavo Conservation Area as well as the Chyulu Hills National Park and the Shimba Hills National Reserve
Began Operations
November 2003
View Reports

Dr Jeremiah Poghon

Dr Poghon holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Medicine and has headed the Tsavo Mobile Vet Unit since 2010.

Below he tells us a little about himself:

“Having been employed previously in the Mounted Unit of the Kenya Police as a veterinary surgeon my passion to work with wildlife saw my entry into the Kenya Wildlife Service, veterinary department, in 2008. Here the scenario was quite unlike before, where I was used to handling tame animals, but my love for wildlife and previous experience ensured that I was soon comfortable handling all wildlife species on my own within a short period.

I was transferred to head the Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit in April 2010 after my colleague; Dr David Ndeereh, who originally headed the Unit, was transferred to the KWS Veterinary Services Department in Nairobi. Wildlife work has many challenges but the feeling of saving this precious and dwindling heritage gives me a lot of satisfaction. The Unit is critical offering prompt response to wildlife cases which include poaching injuries caused from snares, poisoned arrows, spears to name just some, along with disease outbreak investigation and surveillance within the Tsavo ecosystem, Amboseli, Chyulu and the coast region.

When I am not working, I enjoy watching and playing football, swimming, reading nature magazines and listening to music.”

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