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.

2,617

Elephant cases

3,597

Other wild animal cases

6,214

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 wild animal, they are able to treat injuries caused by:

  • 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.

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 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.

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
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Latest Photos from the Field

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.”

Name of Unit
Mara Veterinary Unit
Unit Leader
Area covered
Masai Mara National Reserve, the adjacent Mara Triangle, neighbouring community areas, Lake Naivasha and Nakuru areas within the Rift Valley. Also Ruma National Park and Lake Victoria.
Began Operations
March 2007
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Latest Photos from the Field

Dr Campaign Limo

Dr Limo holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Medicine and heads the Mara Mobile Vet Unit since 2013.

Below he tells us a little about himself:

“My passion for wildlife was nurtured during my short stint as a private veterinary practitioner when I used to see injured animals, especially elephants, and I felt a need to assist them. My dream to work with wildlife came true in 2010 when I was employed by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) as a Veterinary officer based at the KWS HQ in Nairobi. From here I would attend to veterinary clinical emergencies within the KWS Nairobi Orphanage, Nairobi Safari Walk, Nairobi National Park and any other cases from the field across the country. 

I now head the SWT Mobile Veterinary Units based in the Masai Mara conservation area, covering emergency cases within the Masai Mara ecosystem. I have the support of an able veterinary assistant and two rangers and, together, we form a very good team to respond to any case in the field. I enjoy every bit of my work it is a great privilege to be in a position to alleviate the suffering of our wildlife. I always remain committed to the welfare of animals and strive to the best of my ability to give them comfort and relieve them from any form of suffering.

When I am off duty I like listening to country music, watching rugby, football and cricket. I also enjoy playing badminton.”

Name of Unit
Meru Veterinary Unit
Unit Leader
Area covered
Meru National Park, Bisanadi National Reserve and Kora National Reserve, including all wildlife dispersal areas around the Eastern Conservation Area, whilst also extending its services into additional parks and reserves in the Northern Conservation Area.
Began Operations
February 2012
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Latest Photos from the Field

Dr Bernard Rono

Dr Rono holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Medicine and has headed the Meru Mobile Vet Unit since its launch in 2013.

Below he tells us a little about himself:

“I joined the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in February 2010 as a veterinary officer and had the opportunity to work with a diverse range of wildlife species including elephants, rhinos, lions and giraffes. My duties include rescue of orphaned wildlife, treatment of injured animals due mainly to human wildlife conflict or poaching, and translocations to manage wildlife populations in habitats.

Since the launch of the Meru Mobile Veterinary Unit in February 2013, I provide wildlife veterinary interventions in the larger Meru National Park as well as wildlife dispersal areas in the eastern and northern conservation areas of Kenya. I derive great satisfaction in contributing to save wildlife species for our future generations and I am eager to make a difference to the wildlife of this area.”

Name of Unit
Amboseli Veterinary Unit
Unit Leader
Area covered
Amboseli National Park and the Southern Conservation Area encompassing Kajiado, Namanga, Magadi and Lake Natron, as well as the Southern Tsavo West area including Lake Jipe.
Began Operations
May 2014
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Latest Photos from the Field

Dr Edward Kariuki

Dr Kariuki holds a Bachelor’s Degree and MSc in Veterinary Medicine and has headed the Amboseli Mobile Vet Unit since 2018. Below he tells us a little about himself:

“I have worked at the Kenya Wildlife Service for more than 12 years. During this time, I’ve gained extensive experience and knowledge on veterinary care and management of wild animals, having darted, rescued and treated thousands of wildlife in Kenya from wild animals ranging from primates, African cats, herbivores and reptiles.

My passion for wild animals began after a visit to an animal orphanage while a student at University. This interest grew deeper after a placement and then when I was a volunteer at Kenya Wildlife Service between 1996-1998.

I love sharing my veterinary experience with students and am always keen to learn new and different examples of free wild and zoological medicine. I have specialised in acarology, the study of mites and ticks, with training at University of Pretoria, South Africa and University of Ohio, USA. I also have key research interests on tropical veterinary diseases and have worked and published on ticks and mites among other ectoparasites that are vectors of tropical diseases.

When away from rescuing and treating animals of African wild, I enjoy travelling, and taking photos of the world rich nature.”

Name of Unit
Mount Kenya Veterinary Unit
Unit Leader
Area covered
Mount Kenya, the Aberdares and Southern Laikipia Region
Began Operations
October 2017
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Latest Photos from the Field

Dr Domnic Mijele

Dr Domnic Mijele holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Medicine and has headed the Mount Kenya Mobile Vet Unit since its launch in 2017.

Below he tells us a little about himself:

“I successfully graduated in the veterinary profession in 2004 and joined Kenya Wildlife Service as a veterinary officer based at their Nairobi HQ, responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of sick or injured wild animals. Other responsibilities included planning and implementing wildlife immobilisation and translocation activities geared towards enhancing wildlife conservation and reducing human-wildlife conflict levels.

In March 2007 I was seconded to the Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit where I saved the lives of many wild animals through veterinary intervention; including rhinos, elephants, lions and cheetahs. In 2013, I returned to KWS HQ to be in-charge of the coordination of wildlife clinical services and disease surveillance, a task I performed passionately for four years.

I now head the SWT’s Mobile Veterinary Unit serving Mount Kenya, Aberdares, Mwea National reserve & Southern Laikipia conservation areas. I love my work and, despite the challenges of handling wildlife species, I still thoroughly enjoy working in the field to save the lives of wild animals. My team and I are committed to ensure that wild animals get the best treatment so far and take care of animal welfare at all costs.”

Name of Unit
Sky Vets
Unit Leader
Area covered
The whole of Kenya - Sky Vets responds when our ground Mobile Veterinary Units are on other cases, on leave or where the patient is inaccessible or too far to reach by road.
Began Operations
2013
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Latest Photos from the Field

On duty KWS Veterinarian

Sky Vets was created to ensure the SWT and KWS could respond to injured wild animals in the most remote locations, anywhere in the country. It is called into action when reported cases are outside of the reach of any of the SWT/KWS Mobile Veterinary Units, or in situations when the Mobile Units are already attending to other treatments. Utilising the SWT\'s aircraft, or chartering a plane, Nairobi based KWS Veterinarians and assistants are quickly transported to patients to provide in the field assessment and treatment.