On Jan 28, 2017, Keith, our anti-poaching pilot went on a morning aerial patrol flight, after a tip off there was potentially a charcoal camp on northern Taita ranch, Kenya. At about 7:30am we spotted a lone bull in the thickets below us, it had a very large cyst on its right side, just above its back leg.
Keith then messaged the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, who brought KWS vet Dr. Poghon by road from Voi.
With the gyrocopter keeping visual on the injured elephants location, the ground team attempted to get close enough to the elephant to tranquilize it.
The thick bush made it impossible for the ground team to even get a clear sighting of the bull, so the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust sent a chopper to collect the vet on the ground and get a clear shot with the tranquilizer gun.
The vet operated on the cyst, concluding it was an arrow that had caused this poor animal all this pain and stress. The elephant was treated, and put back on his feet with a clean bill of health.
This goes to show how important aerial patrols are for elephant protection. A big thank you to all the hard working men and women of Wildlife Works, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Kenya Wildlife Service.