Survival Story: Former Orphan Elephant’s Brave Encounter with Lions

In the heart of Tsavo East National Park, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Ithumba unit is at the forefront of the challenging mission to reintegrate former orphaned elephants into their natural habitat.

A recent incident highlights the remarkable resilience of one such elephant who faced a harrowing encounter with lions, resulting in severe bite wounds.

A dedicated team of veterinarians and rangers swiftly responded to a distress call about the injured elephant.

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Using a carefully measured tranquilizer dart, they immobilized the distressed pachyderm, ensuring its safety during examination.

The elephant’s trunk and ear were strategically positioned to maintain proper breathing, and water was gently poured onto its ear for temperature control.

The examination revealed a series of bite wounds and lacerations, with the left thigh and face bearing particularly severe damage, including the loss of one eye.

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The wounds were meticulously treated, cleaned with Hydrogen Peroxide and Tincture of Iodine, and sprayed with Oxytetracycline for protection.

A layer of wetted green clay was applied to expedite the healing process. The elephant received long-acting antibiotics and Dexamethasone Hcl for comprehensive care.

The elephant bravely stood up after the anesthesia wore off, displaying its remarkable resilience.

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However, due to the trauma endured, the decision was made for the elephant to remain at the scene for close monitoring.

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The outlook for a full recovery is optimistic, although this courageous one-eyed survivor will forever be reminded of its lion encounter.

This touching tale highlights the trials and triumphs of reintegrating elephants into the wild, underscoring the ongoing importance of conservation efforts to ensure their well-being and resilience in their natural habitat.

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