Miraculous Rescue and Recovery: A Tale of Renewal for an Injured Elephant

In a heartwarming incident on World Elephant Day, the Masai Mara became the backdrop for a remarkable story of rescue and recovery.

A venerable elephant, bearing the weight of both age and a severe injury to its tail, captured the attention of concerned onlookers near the Mara River.

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Responding promptly to the distress call, the SWT/KWS Mara Veterinary Unit embarked on a challenging mission to aid the ailing elephant.


The difficulty lay in the elusive nature of the elephant, last spotted in the Mara Conservancy, across the river from the veterinary unit’s base.

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Fortune smiled upon the rescue team as a SWT helicopter, conveniently nearby, aided in locating the elephant on the Keekerok side of the river.

Carefully guided back to its initial spot with minimal stress, the elephant’s journey to recovery began.


Under the guidance of a skilled pilot, the team administered a tranquilizer from the helicopter, facilitating the graceful descent of the majestic creature in a process lasting about seven minutes.

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The ground crew, standing by, attended to the wounded elephant with precision. A ranger ensured an unobstructed airway while another shielded the animal from the intense sun.

With the wound, infected and infested with maggots, meticulously cleaned, Dr. Limo confirmed the successful removal of pus and maggots.


The wound received a curative filling of green clay, accompanied by antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.

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As the anesthesia was reversed, the resilient bull elephant regained its footing and continued its journey through the Mara.

This incredible rescue is a poignant reminder of the challenges elephants face in an ever-changing world.


The scars on this majestic creature, well beyond 50, possibly even in his 60s, tell a story of adaptation in a landscape undergoing continual transformation.

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Once a sanctuary, his habitat diminished by encroaching human settlements, and he fell victim to a spear.

Yet, he stands among the fortunate ones, receiving the necessary care for a hopeful recovery within the Masai Mara National Reserve.


Gratitude is extended to the SWT/KWS Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit for their unwavering commitment to safeguarding Kenya’s wildlife. The Minara Foundation’s generous support has played a vital role in these noble efforts.

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For 14 years, this exceptional unit has provided crucial medical treatment to numerous elephants, rhinos, lions, and various wildlife species, safeguarding Kenya’s remarkable wildlife heritage.

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