In a moment frozen in time in 2018, a wounded adult elephant became the focal point for a vigilant tour guide near the ODARE swamp.
Part of a returning herd searching for sustenance, this majestic creature bore visible signs of suffering from a recent injury.
Despite immediate attempts to summon veterinary aid, the swamp’s inaccessibility thwarted intervention, leaving the rescue team disheartened.
Hope flickered back to life the following day when the Amboseli Elephant Trust (ATE) team, on their routine patrol, located the injured elephant in a more accessible location.
With a chance for successful treatment, the team swiftly mobilized, coordinating efforts to intercept the herd before they returned to the swamp.
At the scene, the injured female, accompanied by nine family members, displayed a swollen right forelimb, pus oozing from a weeks-old wound, likely inflicted by a spear.
Urgency prompted the team to administer a carefully measured dart, using 14mgs of Etorphine, ensuring a humane approach to immobilization.
The elephant succumbed after six minutes, providing a window for the team to initiate medical intervention.
Maintaining a safe distance, the team observed as the wound was meticulously probed and treated.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Iodine disinfected the wound while carefully removing debris and freshening edges encouraged the formation of granulation and scab.
The application of Cloxacillin Ointment, wet green clay packing, and a combination of medications addressed infection and pain.
The dart retrieval became unnecessary as the vehicle’s misfortune left it behind the fallen elephant.
The immobilization was eventually reversed with 40 of Naltrexone, and the majestic creature, albeit limping, walked away, casting a thoughtful gaze back at its caretakers.
This poignant encounter with the wounded elephant reflects the delicate balance between human intervention and the untamed majesty of the animal kingdom, leaving a lasting impression on all who witnessed the compassionate efforts to alleviate its suffering.
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