In a rapid intervention, a veterinary team was urgently deployed to southern Tsavo West upon receiving reports of a lame elephant from the KWS team.
The challenge of locating the injured elephant was overcome with the assistance of the DSWT Kaluku office, facilitating the veterinary team’s successful spotting and darting of the animal.
Swift action ensued, with the elephant receiving 18 mg of Etorphine through a Dan inject dart, leading to immobilization within 8 minutes.
An examination uncovered a penetrating wound on the left hind foot, suspected to be a bullet injury just above the sole, extending backward.
The veterinary team immediately addressed the injury, excising necrotic tissues and meticulously cleaning the wound with water, hydrogen peroxide, and tincture of iodine. Green clay was applied to the wound to aid healing.
The elephant also received 50 cc of Dexamethasone Hcl intravenously through the ear vein and a 100 cc injection of long-acting Amoxicillin intramuscularly.
To reverse the anesthesia, Diprenorphine Hcl was administered at three times the Etorphine dose. Despite some initial struggle upon awakening, the elephant was carefully assisted onto its feet and moved away slowly.
While the immediate treatment addressed the elephant’s condition, the prognosis remains guarded due to the nature and extent of the wound. Continued monitoring and care will be crucial for its recovery.
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