TANZANIA, EAST AFRICA
Orphaned baby elephant gets emergency medical care…
In northern Tanzania, on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in the area known as Ndarakwai, a 15 month old baby elephant was this week treated for what is suspected to be a spear wound. The baby elephant was apparently separated from its herd and from the advanced stage of infection, the wound was at least one to two weeks old.
The baby was first found because Riziki, a female adult elephant, orphaned herself some ten years back and being taken care of by the Kilimanjaro Conservancy, called out to the distressed calls of the baby; and the baby came running to her friendly ‘motherly’ call.
Since then this baby and Riziki have been inseparable. Even though, the baby had been able to eat and drink with the natural cues taken from the adult elephant, the rate of infection of the wound was worrying.
Acting fast, the Tanzanian Wildlife Authority (TAWA) in coordination with Wildlife Division Anti Poaching Unit (KDU) and Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI) established communication with the mobile veterinary unit of Kilimanjaro Animal CREW and gave them permission to provide the first response treatment for the baby elephant.
But the most important “permission”, was with RIZIKI the “new mom”, who was very possessive of her new baby and initially charged the team of rangers and vets when the baby elephant cried out, after being injected with local anaesthetic. Riziki had to be sedated in order for the team to continue with treating the baby.
After a very successful session, where the wound was cleaned and long lasting anti biotic was given, baby and mom went off into the bush to find some peace and quiet from a long day. There are still more treatment sessions that will be necessary but all involved have a positive outlook for the baby elephants full recovery.
The Anti Poaching unit (known as KDU) rangers were cruciral in assisting the veterinarians during the often tense procedure. And with a great collaboration between the Tanzanian government authorities and the Kilimanjaro Animal CREW mobile veterinary team the prognosis is very good for this baby elephant.