An unforgettable scene unfolded in the wilderness of Kenya when a group of dedicated veterinarians saved an elephant calf trapped in a poacher’s snare.
This dramatic rescue occurred in the secluded regions of the Tana River in the Ndera Community Conservancy.
The video footage tells the story of the baby elephant, trapped by a rope anchored to the ground, desperately trying to free its leg.
Recognizing the urgency, Dr. Poghon and his team from the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s KWS/SWT Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit hurriedly flew by helicopter to the scene.
The footage reveals the distressed mother elephant helplessly standing about 50 yards away from her trapped baby. Upon landing, the vet team tranquilized the calf with a dart to prevent further distress and injury.
Once sedated, they quickly examined the calf’s wounds, removed the snare, and disinfected the injuries.
The scene concludes with the baby elephant waking up and happily running into the nearby trees, symbolizing its newfound freedom.
Amie Alden of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust shed light on the cruel realities of poaching and the significant threat it poses to wildlife.
She shared insights about the rescue mission, lauding the team’s quick response, careful monitoring of the situation, and the satisfaction they felt after saving the elephant from a tragic fate.
Poachers’ snares are often placed along an animal’s path, typically wire, rope, or cable nooses. The animal gets trapped and struggles, causing the noose to tighten and inflict painful, sometimes fatal, wounds.
Although these traps are usually set for smaller games like impalas, larger animals like elephants and rhinos often become unintended victims.
Similar stories of wildlife rescues exist, like the rescue of an elephant named Martha, spotted with a snare on her leg in Zimbabwe.
In contrast, tragedies like the death of a lion due to a snare injury in 2017 also serve as stark reminders of the ongoing struggle against poaching.
Fortunately, Kenya is making significant strides in wildlife conservation. Tougher penalties for poaching crimes and dedicated conservation efforts have led to a resurgence in the elephant population.
The country’s first wildlife census shows an encouraging 12% increase in elephant numbers compared to 2014 when poaching was rampant.
Despite these positive changes, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) warns that poaching and habitat destruction still pose significant threats to African elephants.
They highlight the critical balance between protecting wildlife and mitigating the dangers these animals pose when they encroach upon human settlements.
Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of preserving the country’s wildlife as a heritage for future generations. He urges his fellow citizens to take pride in this shared responsibility as they move forward.
Read more Elephant News.