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An ailing elephant that is believed to be in its 50s was saved by veterinarians after it was speared by some humans trying to drive it away from some land in Kenya.
On Aug. 11, after visitors discovered the distressed animal at the Mara Conservancy, they called the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT), a wildlife charity and a leading conservation organization that aids in the protection and preservation of wildlife.
When rescuers arrived at the spot with a helicopter they found the poor animal had suffered an awful infection on its tail and also had a heavily maggot-infested wound, according to a report by The Dailymail.
The trust’s veterinary mobile unit in partnership with Kenya Wildlife Service then helped treat the elephant. They maneuvered the bull’s giant tail to check the damage, after which they cleaned the heavily infected and maggot-infested injury and administered antibiotics and anti-inflammatories on the suffering animal’s tail.
Additionally, to keep the elephant’s airways open, a ranger stuck a stick inside its trunk so that it could breathe properly. Meanwhile, another ranger flopped the elephant’s ear to cover its eye in order to shield it from the bright rays of the sun.
Rob Brandford, executive director at the SWT, said, according to The Lad Bible: “Even in slumber, this elephant looked majestic and regal!”
Not long after receiving the care that it needed, the elephant was back on its feet and had a positive prognosis.
“Thanks to this urgent intervention, KWS Vet Dr. Limo has given him a good prognosis for recovery, and now he is deep in the Masai Mara National Reserve, where we hope he will remain to convalesce in safety,” Brandford said.
Alluding to how the poor animal was attacked, Brandford, said, “We suspect he was speared when he traveled across land that was once elephant territory.”
He further continued that “[The land] has since been appropriated by man, built on for development and agriculture, blocking traditional routes of elephant migration.”
Brandford strongly believes that human-wildlife conflict has threatened the species and it is a growing concern around the world. This has been due to various causes such as “animals being electrocuted by power lines to killings in retaliation to crop raiding.”
Brandford also emphasized that in the course of its life, the elephant has borne witness to an increasing amount of “human footprint” and “shrinking habitat,” both of which have led to human-wildlife conflict.
Research from January 2019 that was published in Frontier Media states that although a variety of management strategies have been implemented to mitigate and prevent human-elephant conflict, the problem still remains pervasive in elephant-range countries.
Additionally, they also mentioned that the “current strategies to manage human-elephant conflict largely focus on either physical separation, or mitigating the problem by domesticating, translocating, or culling problematic elephants and/or compensating farmers.”
While human-elephant conflicts remain a significant problem in communities in Africa and parts of Asia, they also tend to threaten human lives, livelihoods, and local communities, and lead to a decrease in elephant numbers.
As for the elephant that was rescued last month, Brandford said: “He has wandered the earth longer than many people reading about his story which serves as a poignant reminder of the changing world elephants must grapple with.”
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