Rescued: Masai Mara’s Elephant Bull Survives Spear Ordeal

In the heart of the Masai Mara wildlife reserve, a heartwarming rescue mission unfolded when a young bull elephant faced a life-threatening crisis, caught with a spear embedded in his hindquarters.

The Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit was unavailable then, but a call to the SWT Sky Vet initiated a rapid response.

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With the combined efforts of KWS vet Dr. Ephantus Ndambiri and SWT elephant Keeper Peter Mbulu, a critical medical intervention was provided to alleviate the suffering of the distressed elephant.


In a race against time, arrangements were swiftly made to transport Dr. Ndambiri and Peter to the Keekerok airstrip in the Mara.

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Meanwhile, Mr. Nkoitoi, the Mara Senior warden, was alerted to the situation.

He ensured that rangers kept a vigilant watch over the elephant and coordinated a vehicle and team to receive the Sky Vet unit at Keekerok airstrip.


On the 3rd of August, at 2:00 p.m., the team arrived promptly and was directed to the location, as concerns loomed that the bull might cross into Tanzania, beyond the reach of treatment.

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The Sand River, with its pristine waters meandering over a bed of smoothed boulders, created a serene backdrop. Fig and sausage trees lined its banks, offering a tranquil atmosphere.

While exploring this enchanting area, the majestic wildebeest migration captured our attention. The Masai Mara stretched before us, a picturesque landscape teeming with wildlife.


Amidst a family of grazing elephants nourished by the lush greenery from recent rainfall, a young bull, bearing a spear in his flank, he stood among them.

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Our mission was to approach carefully and tranquilize the bull from our vehicle.

The protective herd presented a formidable challenge. Once subdued by tranquilizers, the matriarch and the other elephants rushed to support the fallen bull, trumpeting their concern.


The team resorted to banging doors to deter the protective herd, allowing Dr. Ndambiri to administer vital treatment.

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Ensuring the elephant’s airways were clear, the doctor treated the wound, and amidst the chaos, the spear was dislodged by the herd’s protective efforts. The damage was meticulously cleaned, packed with clay, and treated with antibiotics.

Following the administration of a revival drug, the elephant, now free from the spear, was left bewildered with a sore but on the road to recovery.


While the complete story behind this young bull’s injury remains a mystery, we can consider him fortunate that the spear did not strike his stomach, which could have led to a much graver outcome.

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Thanks to the swift response of the Mara Warden, KWS Researcher Vasco Nyaga, and the SWT, the Sky Vet team was able to intervene and secure the young bull’s life.

Gratitude extends to all those who tirelessly contributed to this uplifting rescue, and we rejoice in the knowledge that the elephant is now safe with his family and well on the path to healing.

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