Rescuing Injured Wild Elephants: Stories of Hope and Recovery

At Two Bulls, our stockades have transformed into a sanctuary for wounded wild elephants desperately seeking help.

It’s a moving experience to witness these majestic creatures distinguishing the safety we offer, even after suffering at the hands of humans.

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Recently, on July 10th, a magnificent wild bull arrived at our Ithumba Reintegration Unit with a profoundly infected wound from a poisoned arrow.

The wound must have been festering for weeks. Our Head Keeper, Benjamin, promptly contacted our Kaluku operations room to coordinate treatment.

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In response, we mobilized a ground team to track the bull’s movements while our pilot rushed to Voi to fetch KWS veterinarian Dr. Poghon and his team.

We were well-prepared, with our helicopter ready for takeoff. Dr. Poghon skillfully darted the injured elephant from the air when they reached Ithumba.

Despite the severe infection from the poisoned arrow, this elephant displayed incredible strength and resilience.

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Even under anesthesia, it took some time for the effects to kick in. The bull stubbornly wandered deeper into the bush, contrary to our instructions.

After approximately ten minutes, it finally settled in thick vegetation, exposing the wound for treatment. The team got to work, carefully removing necrotic tissue and draining copious pus from the injury.

It was undoubtedly a painful experience for the elephant, but fortunately, he reached our stockades before his condition became life-threatening. Dr. Poghon is optimistic about his full recovery.

This unfortunate bull had suffered injuries to his leg and abdomen from spearing. The SWT/KWS Tsavo Mobile Vet Unit received a call from Big Life the next day requesting assistance.

The bull had fallen on the wrong side, making it challenging to access the wounds, and it had to be gently rolled over. This marked the start of a weekend rescue mission.

Our pilot flew to Voi again to pick up Dr. Poghon and his team while our helicopter headed straight to Ol Donyo, where the bull was found drinking near the lodge, nestled on the slopes of the Chyulus.

After receiving medical attention for his fortunately non-life-threatening injuries, Dr. Poghon boarded a helicopter to dart the bull from the air.

The bull cooperated and remained in an open area while the anesthesia took effect. However, he fell on the wrong side, posing difficulties for wound access.

The ground team stepped in, using straps to roll the bull over gently, and the treatment began. Dr. Poghon meticulously cleaned both wounds and administered anti-inflammatory and antibiotic medication.

Luckily, the wounds were not too deep and had not reached an advanced septic state, so a full recovery is anticipated.

Thanks to our dedicated teams’ swift and coordinated efforts, both bulls are expected to thrive in the Greater Tsavo Conservation Area for many years to come.

Once treated, the bull stood up and casually walked away, a testament to the power of compassion and care for these magnificent creatures.

Please feel free to share this heartwarming story of resilience and hope.

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