BY ROB DODSON – VP – RUKINGA - 15th February 2011
Our Wildlife Works rangers came across a large male elephant that was having trouble walking and so we called in the Sheldrick Trust vet to dart him and have a look at the heavily swollen leg. Our rangers led the vet through the thick bush to where the elephant was leaning against a tree, showing obvious severe discomfort.
A dart was successfully shot into his flank and he went down after a few minutes and we were able to have a good look at him. We found that he had a small but deep and badly infected penetration wound on his shoulder, made by either a bullet, an arrow or a spear point. The vet cleaned the wound thoroughly and then tended the numerous other small sores he had on his body, which were probably caused by the infection. He was also given antibiotics and anti-inflamatories and then the reversal drug and he managed to stand up and totter off into the bush.
We will continue to monitor him over the next few days and I doubt he will move off very far whilst his leg is so painful.
Thank you to The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust vet and his assistant for a job well done.
Wildlife Works Rangers point out the location of the sick elephant to the vet.
Our staff assist the vet to move the elephants good leg off the injured one so that he can try and find wound that has caused the inflammation. Water is poured over his ears and neck area to cool him down whilst he is immobilised.
We think that the swelling on his leg was caused by the injury higher up on his shoulder.
The vet cleans the puncture wound to the elephants shoulder with hydrogen peroxide.
Wounds treated and reversal drug administered, we left the elephant to wake up quietly. It took about 3 minutes for him to come around and stand up again.