Distressing Elephant Rescue: DSWT Bura De-snaring Team Mobilizes for Injured Bull in Taita Hills Conservancy

A distressing report reached the DSWT Bura de-snaring team about an injured elephant bull in Taita Hills Conservancy, displaying severe front limb lameness indicative of a suspected snare injury. The veterinary team swiftly responded to the distress call, determined to aid the suffering elephant.

The immobilization process commenced with the preparation of an Etorphine Hcl (M99®) dart, containing 18 mgs in 1.5 ml, administered via a Dan inject® dart rifle during a vehicle darting operation. The powerful sedative took effect after approximately 7 minutes, causing the elephant to recline onto its left flank.

Upon examination, a deep-cutting snare wound on the front left limb was discovered, actively bleeding. The dedicated team worked diligently to free the elephant from the snare, facing significant resistance during the process. The wound was carefully cleaned with a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide, and all necrotic tissues and pus were meticulously removed. To aid in the healing process, the wound was treated with tincture of iodine and covered with green clay.

To address potential infections, intravenous dexamethasone Hcl was administered through the ear vein, accompanied by long-acting antibiotics administered via intramuscular injections.

Following the medical interventions, the anesthesia was reversed using Diprenorphine at three times the etorphine dose. The bull, though in guarded condition, was assisted in regaining his footing.

This valiant effort by the veterinary team highlights the ongoing challenges faced by elephants in the wild, with snares posing a severe threat to their well-being. The prognosis remains uncertain, emphasizing the critical need for continued conservation efforts to safeguard these magnificent creatures from harm.

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