Wildlife Heroes: Rescuing a Bull, Elephant and Zebra in a Marathon of Compassion

In a heartwarming display of dedication and compassion, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT) recently undertook a veterinary marathon to provide essential care to a bull elephant and a zebra stallion.

The remarkable journey began with an aerial patrol over Tsavo East National Park on March 4, 2021, where the team made a chance sighting.

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During the patrol, a group of six bull elephants was observed. One displayed a tiny but significant speck on its side—a telltale sign of an arrow wound.

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The SWT swiftly mobilized for a veterinary operation the following day, recognizing the situation’s urgency.

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Despite challenges and a temporary setback due to the elusive nature of the wounded bull, the team persevered.

Two days later, the team successfully located the bull again with the helicopter back in action. A coordinated effort involving aerial and ground crews, led by Dr. Poghon from the SWT/KWS Tsavo Mobile Vet Unit, ensued.

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The bull was successfully darted, and the poisoned arrow wound, fortunately not reaching vital organs, was treated.

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This multi-day effort showcased the team’s resilience and unwavering commitment to saving the bull.

The estimated 35-year-old bull, now free from the threat of the poisoned arrow, conveyed a sense of understanding and gratitude before rejoining his herd in the vast wilderness of Tsavo.

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However, the veterinary marathon didn’t conclude with the bull’s treatment. Upon returning to the Kaluku Field Headquarters, the team discovered an injured zebra stallion that had recently faced off with a lion.

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While the zebra’s injuries were not life-threatening, the SWT Tsavo Vet Unit intervened to provide essential care.

Interestingly, the Trust’s orphaned animals, including Scooter, the warthog; Susu, the eland; and Mkubwa, the buffalo, observed the proceedings curiously and offered their silent support.

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The successful treatment of the bull elephant and the zebra exemplifies the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s unwavering commitment to wildlife conservation.

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Whether a massive bull or an affable zebra, each individual is recognized as part of a broader ecosystem deserving care, compassion, and the right to a future.

The veterinary marathon reflects the Trust’s privilege and responsibility to ensure the well-being and preservation of Kenya’s remarkable wildlife heritage.

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