Rescuing a Troublesome Giant: Mobile Vet Unit’s Mission to Heal and Relocate Injured Elephant

In the vast wilderness, where events unfold deliberately, overseeing the relocation of a magnificent male elephant becomes a captivating chapter for the SWT/KWS Tsavo Mobile Vet Unit.

Responding to a distress call on June 20, the team encountered a wild animal with a deep wound on its ankle, resulting from venturing into community lands near the Tsavo Conservation Area.

Watch the video at the end.

The creature, falling victim to human-wildlife conflict, was successfully treated, and plans were made to monitor its progress closely.

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While hoping the elephant would return to the park independently, the team remained prepared for additional treatment or possible relocation.

After the bull elephant’s initial treatment on June 20, he became a notable presence in the community, prompting a follow-up treatment scheduled for July 12.

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Handling a full-grown elephant is challenging, but the SWT helicopter successfully darted the bull, and ground teams from KWS and SWT assembled for the operation.

Once the elephant was under anesthesia, the team cleaned and disinfected the foot wound, using a specially designed crane truck to lift it carefully.

The convoy, including KWS vets, traveled from community lands through Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks, ultimately reaching Tsavo West, where the elephant could live safely within the protected wilderness.

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The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT)/Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Tsavo veterinary team assessed and treated the injury, ensuring the elephant’s safe relocation.

Our specialized elephant crane truck played a crucial role in the transportation process.

The bull elephant was released near a popular waterhole, close to the Mtito Anti-Poaching Team base, allowing for close monitoring and providing additional food.

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In this wildlife preservation operation, translocation played a decisive role, emphasizing its significance in preserving both wildlife and the livelihoods of local communities.

Collaboration between our organization and the Kenya Wildlife Service has established a robust emergency unit, providing practical solutions for intricate human-wildlife conflict scenarios.

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