Safari Vets Help an Elephant

Christina and John are currently in Kenya on their annual guiding trip. In their most recent email, they share with us an experience witnessing emergency medical aid for a local elephant in Ithumba Hills, Kenya. 

Though the situation was quite serious, the elephant survived and hopefully will live for many years thanks to the care and professionalism that day.

Elephant Bull was Shot With a Poisoned Arrow

Yesterday evening at Ithumba, our guide Benjamin pointed out a huge wild elephant bull who had a serious injury to his right rump thigh area and back leg, which were badly inflamed.

He told us the Rangers had been looking for this elephant for 2 weeks, knowing it had been shot from a tree with a poisoned arrow.

He called the rangers who all headed to the watering hole around 11am, hoping the bull would show up. They had the helicopter with two vets from Ranger headquarters waiting to dart him for medical aid.

This photo was taken by John and Christina

The Team Whips Into Action

The bull showed up! With all the elephant orphans safe and far, the helicopter pilot darted the injured bull. He stayed upright for about 5+ minutes before going down very close to our parked vehicles.

Then the action started! We were allowed to leave our vehicles and get very close to observe. It was a gruesome task. The arrow was very deep with much tissue damage, but eventually, all was cleaned out.  They packed the deep wound with green clay. We were then told to get back into our vehicles because the elephant would come around very quickly – which he did.

Something you see only on TV! It was an incredible experience to witness this from start to finish – altogether about 90 minutes.

A photo of the arrow, taken by John and Christina

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Willamette International Travel
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