Dramatic Rescue: Saving a Baby Elephant from the Clutches of Death

In yet another heart-wrenching encounter with the indiscriminate danger of snares, a recent incident in the Shimba Hills unfolded into a tale of hope and resilience.

On April 5, 2022, distressing reports surfaced of a baby elephant entangled in a snare, its tiny leg severely lacerated, and its life hanging in the balance.

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Without swift intervention, infection loomed, threatening the immobility and eventual demise of the young elephant.


Responding to the urgent call, the SWT/KWS Tsavo Mobile Vet Unit and Airwing mobilized quickly. A helicopter, ready to transport Dr. Poghon, was dispatched to the scene.

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The first critical step involved sedating the protective mother, ensuring a safe approach to the injured calf.

The pilot skillfully guided the pair to an open area, and with a carefully administered dart, the mother was placed under anesthesia.


Hovering above, the helicopter crew kept the mother comfortable, taking precautions to prevent overheating and maintain open breathing channels. The ground team prepared for the vital task of treating the snare-wounded calf.

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Simultaneously, the helicopter embarked on a challenging mission to locate the baby who had wandered away in the dense and confusing terrain of the Shimba Hills.

Amidst the labyrinth of greenery, the pilot’s determination and keen eyesight prevailed as they successfully located the separated calf.


The team collaborated to remove the snare, tend to the wound, and administer necessary treatments while navigating the challenging forest terrain.

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Ensuring the comfort of both mother and baby during treatment, the team faced the distressing sight of a brutal snare that had trapped the calf’s leg. The thick wire formed an inescapable noose, causing a severe wound.

After a laborious effort to free the calf, the team meticulously cleaned the wound, provided antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, and packed it with green clay to prevent infection.


With the successful treatment concluded, the challenging task of reuniting the baby with her mother began.

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Over 400 meters of challenging terrain, the team carried the young elephant uphill to reunite her with her mother.

The reunion was a moment of triumph as the mother and baby, waking up from sedation, shared a loving moment before disappearing into the forest.


Despite the severe injury, hope prevails for the mother’s complete recovery, as elephants are known for their remarkable resilience.

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Monitored by ground teams during the recovery period, the baby elephant now has a promising future, thanks to the timely assistance she received when she needed it most.

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