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MARCH 2014



MARCH 2014


MARCH 2014

TSAVO MOBILE VETERINARY UNIT MARCH 2014 Introduction The month of March was relatively calm compared to the drier months of July to September 2013 mainly due to the lush green forage covering the ecosystem occasioned by good rains for the last few months. In the month an elephant was treated for a spear wound for the first time in Tsavo East indicating a new trend of poaching in the Park. Another case of the rare elephants in Lamu with a snare was attended to. Rains are expected to subside in the coming months and injuries to elephants assume an upward trend as wildlife are forced to walk for longer distances in search for water and forage.


MARCH 2014 1.


Treatment of an injured elephant cow with a bullet wound, Rukinga Ranch, 14 March

Case History This sub-adult elephant was previously treated for the same injury but the injury did not resolve well prompting a repeat treatment. She was easily located near a water hole in Rukinga ranch and immobilized using 15 mgs of etorphine in a dan inject dart system. She was pushed to the left lateral position.

Treatment The wound on the distal part of the front right limb was cleaned with water mixed with hydrogen peroxide, pus squeezed out, doused with tincture of iodine and covered with green clay. Long acting antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and vitamin B12 complex (catasol) was administered to boost the poor body condition. She was declared out of danger and despite assessment of assisting her to wake up she proved otherwise and woke up on her own.


MARCH 2014 2.


Autopsy of a poached Rhino at Ngulia Sanctuary, Tsavo West, 15 March

Case History th Security offices manning the Ngulia sanctuary reported hearing gun shots on the evening of 14 March 2014. On search of the area, a dead fresh rhino carcass was located in the morning within the sanctuary with the horns missing.

General Examination The male rhino carcass was leaning on the left flank, facing eastward direction, right ear missing but left ear was intact and notched, horns missing and the area covered by big raw wound cut deep into the sinuses with sharp object marks still visible. Body condition of the carcass was very good scored at 5/5. Penetrating wounds were seen on the right side of the neck behind the mandible and another on the left thoracic area caudal to the left scapula. Findings The left penetrating wound was opened with muscle tearing of the latisimus dorsi muscle observed in a rostrocaudal direction caused by a bullet lodged under the skin. The penetrating wound on the right side of the neck started caudal to the right mandibular bone passed beneath the trachea ruptured both the carotid artery and the jugular veins and the bullet was lodged under the skin on the left side of the neck. Two bullet heads were recovered from the carcass and handed over to scene of crime personnel. No other significant findings were seen. Cause of death was haemorrhage from rupture of carotid artery caused by a gun shot.


MARCH 2014 3.


Treatment of a speared elephant bull in Aruba area of Tsavo East, 18 March

Case History Report was received of an injured elephant bull that was limping around Aruba dam area from tourists visiting the area and the team rushed in to find the slightly lame elephant foraging near the Aruba airstrip.

Immobilisation and Treatment Immobilization was done using 18 mgs of etrophine in a dan inject dart system, the elephant walked around for about 5 minutes then fell on the right side. The wound on the left foreleg near the elbow was assessed and found to be deep and still fresh. It was cleaned using diluted hydrogen peroxide and tincture of iodine. Green clay was used to cover the wounded area. Long acting antibiotics, painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs were administered by intramuscular injection. The bull was finally revived through intravenous injection of diprenorphine hydrochloride intravenously into the ear vein. He woke up and walked away slowly.


MARCH 2014 4.

Rescue of an abandoned waterbuck calf in Galana Ranch, 22



Case History This water buck calf was rescued at the banks of the swollen Galana River with no mother in sight. He was kept in a nearby camp by the camp attendants who contacted the vet unit officers to request for rescue and subsequent transfer to the orphanage. He was rescued stabilized with some oral glucose water and introduced to dilute milk. He was housed for a few days at the DSWT’s Voi stockade before being moved to Kibwezi Forest where his new home will be with the DSWT staff at Umani Springs.


MARCH 2014 5.


Examination of elephant carcasses near pipeline area, Tsavo East, 28 March

Case History Two elephant carcasses aged about 4 days from the time of death were spotted near the Aruba- Sala road in Tsavo East National Park. The area was visited and an invasive autopsy could not be carried out due to advanced level of decomposition.

Findings Close examination revealed the following:•

No external injuries were observed.

The elephants were a young male and a pregnant young female.

Both died next to each other with no signs of struggle

Both were facing the same direction.

All the tusks were intact

The area is deep inside the park and safe haven of the elephants with very low possibility of poisoning as happens in the boundaries.


MARCH 2014 6.

Treatment of an injured young elephant bull in Kipini provisional forest in Lamu, 30



Case History Lamu is an area with few remaining elephants that are very shy due to the high threats of poaching. This young elephant bull was seen near Kipini airstrip after a fire razed the area. He was limping and in great pain from a tight nylon rope snare around the front left limb. The vet team was flown into the area via the Sky Vets program and easily found the elephant only 50 meters from the airstrip.

Immobilisation and Treatment He was immobilized with 15 mgs of etorphine in a dan inject dart system as he walked to a nearby water point to quench his thirst. The rope was cut loose and the deep wound cleaned with hydrogen peroxide mixed with water, whilst tincture of iodine was applied and green clay was used to cover the wound. Long acting antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and vitamin B12 complex were administered by injection. The anaesthesia was reversed using 48 mgs of diprenorphine Hcl. Prognosis Close monitoring was advised as the prognosis is guarded.


MARCH 2014 Conclusion and acknowledgement The unit would like to sincerely thank the support of its sponsors VIER PFOTEN through the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) for their continued support that has enabled us to save wildlife at their time of need. We also thank the Kenya Wildlife Service through the Assistant Director of the Tsavo Conservation Area and the veterinary and capture services department for their great contribution. Reported by:Dr Jeremiah Poghon Unit Veterinarian

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MARCH 2014

MARA MOBILE VETERINARY UNIT March 2014 Introduction This early period of the month was characterized by dry, windy conditions, however this changed to give way to torrential rains towards the middle of the month. Mobility was a challenge especially in areas close to the swamps due to floods. There was sadly a rise in the cases of lions handled during the period but there was a drastic decline in the elephant cases encountered, which is always good news.

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MARCH 2014 1.



Collaring of elephants, Masai Mara, 2 March 2014 and 24 March 2014

Activities This was done in conjunction with the Save the Elephants (STE) programme and involved fixing new collars on a female and a male elephant and a replacement of a failing collar on a female christened ‘Ivy’. The male was collared in Oldonyorinka renown for poaching while the female was collared in Naboisho conservancy. Ivy’s collar was replaced in Motorogi conservancy. The AWT/ SAT Collars fitted will assist in monitoring and inform managers on decisions in advance. Helicopter darting was used with each of the female candidates receiving 16mgs of etorphine hydrochloride. The male was given 20mgs etorphine through Daninject system. Reversal of the two females was achieved by giving 48mgs diprenorphine each while the male got 60mgs diprenorphine delivered through ear vein. The process went on smoothly with animals kept recumbent for as little time as possible and antibiotics given for prophylaxis.

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MARCH 2014 2.


Postmortem of a Black Rhino, Masai Mara (near Governors camp), 5 Feb 2014

Case History The Mara mobile veterinary unit was notified of this carcass by KWS Senior warden, Narok Station on the morning of 5th Feb 2014. A post mortem was needed in order to ascertain the cause of death. The team responded immediately and upon arrival found a team of county council personnel, officers from Kenya police, joined by KWS investigation officers and rangers. The carcass was on the scene.

Findings The carcass was found lying on the left lateral position still fresh with both the anterior and posterior horns chopped off with precision of experience. There was no evidence of struggle before death at the scene. The rhino appeared to have been in perfect condition before death. On closer examination, the following were noted; •

The carcass was fresh with an estimated age of one day.

Both upper and lower lips were chopped off.

The tail was also chopped off midway.

Both ears had been chopped off.

Ventral right thorax had an open wound whose margins were created by slicing with sharp object but extended deeply by scavengers.

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MARCH 2014 •

Dorsal lumbar region had a big wound suggestively created with sharp edged object and extended deeply by scavengers.

Right side of the neck also had a wound which appeared to have been created by scavengers with junk of tissue retrieved.

There was a small penetrating wound which appeared to be an entry point of a projectile on the lateral surface of the right shoulder.

Another slightly bigger wound was also seen posterior to the left shoulder

Conclusion From above picture, this rhino died from a single bullet shot from right side of its body exiting through the left damaging vital organs specifically the heart. This bullet was able to get the heart puncturing the atria. This damage coupled with severe bleeding compromised heart functions leading to the death of this rhino.

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MARCH 2014 3.


De-snaring of a male lion at Mara North Conservancy, 5 March 2014

Case History This lion was spotted the same day in the morning in company of other pride members with a snare around its neck. The snare was not tight but was long with this young lion dragging it around as it moved. Conservancy management sought our services to remove this snare. Immobilization, examination and treatment Immobilization was achieved by remote delivery of combination of 250mgs Ketamine and 4mgs medetomidine through a 3ml Daninject dart. Drugs took full effect after ten minutes, lion assuming sterna recumbency. Eyes were covered with a towel and antibiotic eye ointment with cloxacillin as active ingredient applied to both eyes to prevent corneal desiccation. The lion was in perfect body condition and no damage had been occasioned by the snare as it was loose. The snare was removed and lion was prophylactically given 3000mgs amoxicillin intramuscularly. Additional 5mgs of ivermectin was given subcutaneously to act against internal and external parasites. Reversal This was achieved by administration of 15mgs atipamizole intramuscularly one hour after immobilization. The lion got up after ten minutes and walked away without complications. Prognosis is good Note: Pictures for this unavailable

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MARCH 2014 4.


Male zebra with an arrow, Mushara Gate Masai Mara, 6 March 2014

History This young male zebra was spotted by a county government patrol team, grazing with other members at Mushara gate near Governor’s camp airstrip. They immediately notified the mobile veterinary team on the ground which responded immediately. The zebra appeared to be restless with obvious pain as it was hardly placing the affected limb on the ground. The arrow was still attached and hanging from the right shoulder. Examination A combination of 4mgs etorphine and 50mgs xylazine in a 2ml Daninject dart was used to immobilize this zebra. The drugs took effect after four minutes with the zebra lying on his left side. Examination revealed an arrow hanging from the right side of his shoulder firmly attached to the prescapular lymphnode. The wound created by the arrow had become infected with pussy discharge Treatment The arrow was gently removed as it had hooks, wound copiously lavaged with clean water and hydrogen peroxide used for debridement. All necrotic tissues were removed, iodine and oxytetracycline spray applied in addition to packing the resultant wound with green clay. An intramuscular injection of 3000mgs amoxicillin antibiotic was given to clear infection. In addition 5mgs ivermectin was administered subcutaneously against internal and external parasites. Reversal This was achieved by administration of a combination of 12mgs diprenorphine and 5mgs atipamizole in one syringe through jugular vein. Prognosis Good Note: Pictures of this case unavailable

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MARCH 2014 5.


Treatment of a lioness at Masai Mara National Reserve (Hamerkop area), 12 March 2014

History Narok County Government patrol team found this lioness with other pride members and their cubs trying to kill an eland. However she was trampled and injured by the eland. We were called upon to examine and treat this lioness who was nursing two cubs of about four months old.

Immobilisation & Physical examination This was achieved by administration of a combination of 260mgs Ketamine and 4mgs medetomidine through a 3ml Daninject dart by vehicle. The drugs took effect after eight minutes and the lioness was blindfolded while the rest of the pride members scared away by use of vehicle. Opticlox eye ointment was applied to both eyes to prevent desiccation. Closer examination revealed simple fracture on the distal part of her right radius with substantial swelling around this area. Manipulations exhibited crackling sounds suggestive of a fracture. However all other tissues were intact and fracture line had not been displaced to warrant reduction. The ulna appeared intact and would act like a splint to limit movement of fracture line. This in essence would immobilize the fracture by acting like internal fixture. The swollen area was gently massaged and antibiotic (3000mgs amoxicillin) given intramuscularly for prophylaxis. Butasal which is a phosphorus containing catabolic was given to boost callus formation. Reversal & Prognosis This was achieved by intramuscular administration of 12mgs atipamizole one hour after immobilization. Lioness woke up after ten minutes and limped off to where other pride members were. Prognosis is good.

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MARCH 2014 6.


Status of White Rhinos at Olchoro-Oirua Conservancy, 15 March 2014

History Two white rhinos, a mature female and a young male, were reported to have escaped from their bomas on the night of 14th March 2014 from the above mentioned conservancy. A concerted effort by all personnel successfully returned both rhinos to their boma the same night, both in good condition. These are the only white rhinos remaining in the conservancy. We, the veterinary and research team on the ground were requested to assist identify possible reasons for this escape and forward our recommendations to the relevant authorities. We did go to the said conservancy for this mission on the morning of 15th March, 2014 and noted the following on the part of the rhinos; •

Both rhinos were grazing within 500metres from their bomas having been released from the bomas that morning.

Both rhinos appeared to be in good health and were calm as they grazed.

Security people on the ground were trailing these rhinos as they grazed around and duly guided us as we went about checking on these rhinos.

On checking the status of the bomas, the following observations were made; •

The bomas are paddocked and each can form a separate entity to hold the rhinos with the closure of the entrance.

The paddock used at the time of escape was damp with pool of water forming on the lower grounds.

The enclosure is made of wood and the reinforcements have become weak with time as rhinos lean on them.

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MARCH 2014 •

The escape point of these rhinos was at the entry to the boma (paddock) where the pole was weak and hanging having detached from the concrete reinforcement on the ground.


Rhinos appeared to prefer higher grounds, closer to the fence as opposed to areas with collection of water forming pools.


Based on the above observation, the preference of these rhinos to stay close to the fence, coupled with constant pushing and shoving could have resulted in the fence giving in and rhinos moving out. The perimeter fence was already weak and easy for active rhinos to break. Constant drizzles could have also excited the rhinos within the boma and their activity resulted into the escape.

Recommendations; 1.

The entire enclosure needs repair and reinforcement.


An electric perimeter fence is highly recommended to deter other animals like elephants from damaging the wooden enclosure. This will also help restrain the rhinos in future if they happen to escape as a result of breakage of their enclosure.


Immediate measure should involve moving these rhinos to a more comfortable and secure paddock free from dampness and pools of water.


Information gathered from the ground indicates that the female rhino has not conceived since last calving down more than two years ago. The young male companion seems uninterested in mounting or is inexperienced to serve despite the female coming to heat on several occasions. As a long term plan and based on security analysis, a mature experienced male should be availed for this female rhino to breed and achieve social calmness.

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MARCH 2014 7.


Injured lioness, Governor’s Camp, 16 March 2014

History This lioness who is a member of the famous mash pride was spotted by Governor’s camp management with an abnormally swollen abdomen. She was also unwilling to move around with other pride members. They brought this to our attention.

General examination This lioness was apparently in good body condition. However a swelling on ventral aspect of her abdomen appeared to disturb her in her movement as she kept lying on one spot while the rest moved around. Immobilization and examination A combination of 4mgs medetomidine and 260mgs Ketamine was prepared and delivered through a 3ml Daninject dart by vehicle. It took eight minutes for the drugs to take effect. The lioness was blindfolded with opticlox eye ointment being applied to both eyes. On close examination, a big swelling which was warm and irreducible was observed ventrally slightly posterior to the umbilicus. Aspiration with 21 gauge needle revealed that this was a ripe abscess. Treatment The abscess was lanced ventrally and drained. The wound was copiously lavaged with water, followed by 10 volume hydrogen peroxide to remove dead tissues. Lugol’s iodine was then applied before oxytetracycline wound spray being applied. In addition, this lioness was given 3000mgs amoxicillin antibiotic intramuscularly. Reversal Achieved by administration of 12mgs atipamizole intramuscularly one hour after immobilization. Prognosis is good.

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MARCH 2014 8.


Wounds on a lioness near Governor’s camp, 16 March 2014

History We came across a female lioness while handling the other abscessed female. She appeared to have been injured while hunting with her pride. They had killed a topi. Immobilization Achieved by administration of a combination of 260mgs Ketamine and 4mgs medetomidine through 3ml Daninject dart. Drugs took effect after ten minutes and the lioness was blindfolded after both eyes applied with opticlox eye ointment. Examination and treatment Examination revealed multiple wounds which were caused by goring by the topi.All the wounds were fresh. The left eye was also damaged during the confrontation. All wounds were cleaned with clean water and hydrogen peroxide used to debride. Lugol’s iodine was then put on the wounds before oxytetracycline spray being applied. In addition 3000mgs Amoxicllin antibiotic was given intramuscularly.

Reversal Achieved by administration of 12mgs atipamizole intramuscularly one hour after immobilization. The lion woke up ten minutes after reversal and joined the rest of the pride. Prognosis is good.

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MARCH 2014 9.


Post-mortem of an elephant, Oldonyo-Rinka, 18 March 2014

History The KWS security patrol team came across this elephant in a thicket and requested the mobile veterinary unit to carry out a post-mortem in order to ascertain the cause of death.

General examination of the carcass The carcass was found lying on his right side in a shallow valley close to the edge of a thicket. The picture at the scene showed that this elephant struggled for a moment before death. The carcass was still fresh and the elephant appeared to have been in perfect condition before death. There was a sharp edged wound on his right flank which was oozing serosanguineous fluid contaminated with ingesta. Similar but shallow sharp edged wounds were evident on his forehead. Both tusks were recovered by KWS security team and taken for safe custody. Age of the carcass was less than 24hours. Post mortem examination On closer examination, the following were noted; • The carcass was beginning to bloat. • Three sharp object inflicted wounds were seen on his forehead with diameter of approximately one inch each. The wounds were however shallow. • A deep wound about three inches in diameter was seen on his right flank. The penetrating wound possibly caused by spearing was deep enough to access the large intestines with resultant seepage of fecal material to the peritoneum. • All other organs appeared grossly normal.

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MARCH 2014 Post-mortem findings This elephant had a fully developed foetus which appeared engaged. The cervix was partially dilated with cervical plug partly dissolved. The foetus either died in-utero with resultant attempt to expel or in the process of expulsion. No other unexplained pathological changes were observed in other organs. Conclusion This elephant died of acute peritonitis as a result of peritoneal contamination by faecal matter. The wounds appeared to have been inflicted by a sharp object consistent with spearing. From the picture, there is high possibility human activities were involved in injury and eventual death of this elephant.

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MARCH 2014 th

10. Treatment of a female elephant at Mara North Conservancy, 20 March History The Mara North Conservancy patrol team came across this elephant during their normal patrols around the main Kicheche camp in Mara North Conservancy. The female elephant appeared to be limping on her left front leg. They informed the veterinary team on the ground who responded immediately.

Immobilization, Examination and Treatment Immobilization was achieved by use of 15mgs etorphine delivered through a 2ml Daninject dart using a vehicle. The dart took full effect after seven minutes with the elephant going down on her left side. Examination on the right side of her body revealed an abscess on her right rump. The abscess was lanced, cleaned with copious amount of water, hydrogen peroxide and iodine was applied. Oxytetracycline antibiotic spray was then applied topically. The elephant had to be turned over with the help of ropes and a vehicle to reveal injuries on her left side including the targeted left forelimb. This side revealed other abscesses around the flank and sternal area which were handled the same way as the earlier abscess. Lateral surface of the left elbow had a raw wound which appeared to have been there for a few days. This was a shallow wound which appeared like it had been caused by bunt edged object, probably a tree stump. The wound was probed for any foreign matter which was not there, and cleaned with a lot of water. Hydrogen peroxide was used to remove necrotic tissues before iodine being applied. Finally, green clay was packed into the wound. In addition 15000mgs Amoxicillin antibiotic was administered into different sites intramuscularly.. Reversal & Prognosis This was achieved by administration of48mgs diprenorphine hydrochloride intravenously via the ear vein. Prognosis is good.

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MARCH 2014 th

11. Fight wounds on a lion, Bilashaka area, 20 March 2014 History We came across this lion at Bilashaka area while coming back from treating an elephant. He was lying under a tree in a lot of pain. He resisted attempts to agitate him to move but when he finally rose up he could not place his right hind limb. He could hardly stand up and alternated between sitting down and lying.

Immobilization, Examination and Treatment A 260mgs Ketamine and 5mgs medetomidine 3mlDaninject dart was prepared and delivered by use of Daninject darting riffle in a vehicle. It took eight minutes for this massive male lion to get fully anaesthetized. Blindfold was applied after both eyes receiving opticlox ointment to prevent desiccation. On examination, this lion had suffered multiple bite wounds occasioned by fighting with rival pride. The bite wounds were fresh. The bite on the gastrocnemius muscle of the right limb was severe but the muscle was not torn. All wounds were cleaned with hydrogen peroxide, dried with swabs before lugol’s iodine being applied. Opticlox (Cloxacillin) antibiotic ointment was infused on each of the fight wounds with oxytetracycline antibiotic spray being applied topically. In addition300mgs of amoxicillin antibiotic injection was given intramuscularly.20mgs of Dexamethasone sodium anti-inflammatory was also given intramuscularly to alleviate pain and reduce swellings. To rid ecto and endo -parasites, 6mgs of Ivermectin was given subcutaneously. Reversal & Prognosis Achieved by administration of 18mgs atipamizole intramuscularly one hour after immobilization. The lion woke up after ten minutes and limped towards the tree it was lying under. Prognosis is good.

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MARCH 2014 Conclusion and acknowledgement The Mara mobile veterinary unit is grateful to all individuals who played a role in reporting cases that needed veterinary intervention as well as follow up of these cases for the good of conservation. Many thanks to the Minara Foundation for their loyal support and funding of this vital unit, whilst thanks also goes to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Kenya Wildlife Service for their continued support which has seen many wildlife rescues achieved and unnecessary wildlife suffering alleviated. Reported by:Dr Campaign Limo Unit Veterinarian

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MARCH 2014

MERU MOBILE VETERINARY UNIT March 2014 This report describes veterinary interventions carried out in the larger Eastern conservation in March 2014 by the Meru veterinary unit. Three elephants which sustained suspected gunshot injuries were immobilized and treated in Ol Pejeta, Samburu and Wamba areas respectively. A crocodile that suffered a spear wound was captured at the Ewaso river, spear retrieved, treated for infection and later released, as well as attending several other cases and taking part in rhino darting and tracking operations with the KWS

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MARCH 2014 1.


Treatment of elephant for gunshot wounds in Samburu National Reserve, 11 March

History A 25 year old lactating female elephant with a one year old calf was reported to be showing lameness and a swollen left forelimb which required veterinary attention. Closer observation revealed a penetrating wound discharging pus laterally on the carpal joint. We immobilized the elephant for treatment on 11th March 2014 in Samburu National Reserve.

Immobilization and treatment Chemical immobilization was achieved using Etorphine Hcl 16mg. She went down in 6 minutes but we had to keep an eye on her calf that was standing close by her mother with a vehicle. Probing the wound with forceps showed a deep penetrating abscess with sinuses. Treatment was achieved by tissue debridement using hydrogen peroxide and infusion of Povidone iodine. Amoxycillin trihydrate 30000mg was administered by intramuscular route. On reviving the animal she woke up easily and was soon reunited with her calf. Three weeks after the treatment she is reported to have fully recovered from her injuries.

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MARCH 2014 2.


Post mortem examination of a black rhino carcass in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, 16 March

History The wildlife manager at OPC reported that a black rhino carcass had been found on 15th March 2014 following an incident in OPC the previous evening in which several gunshots were fired by suspected poachers. He requested for an autopsy examination of the carcass to determine the cause of death, document forensic evidence, recover projectiles and to collect biological samples for forensic identification of the carcass. The autopsy was performed on site on 16th March 2014.

Significant findings •

Carcass found on right lateral recumbency, perineum 10cm diameter juxtaposed to the anus had been eaten by scavengers

Both horns (front and rear) had been excised

Four (4) penetrating wounds approximately one (1) centimeter diameter at the mid left scapula into the thoracic cavity indicating bullet entry points with a fracture on the dorsal half of the third rib

On opening the thoracic cavity there was extensive hemorrhage, traumatic wounds on the left lung apical lobe, the pericardium and aorta.

Three fragments of bullet head were found in the peritoneal fluid.

Four (4) bullet heads (figure 2) were retrieved from the left dorsal thoracic muscles along the vertebral column. An unidentified circular metallic object was also found at the scene (Figure 2). The bullets and metallic object were handed over to the scene of crime officer (district criminal investigation officer)for ballistic analysis.

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MARCH 2014 Samples collected Ear tissue and hoof samples in a RHODIS kit were submitted for processing at the forensic laboratory. Cause of death Traumatic injury on the lungs and aorta caused massive hemorrhage, hypovolemia and rapid shock.

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MARCH 2014 3.


Treatment of an injured elephant with a bullet wound in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, 17 March 2014

History This was a lone female adult elephant reported to have shown progressive lameness for the past two weeks, a th swollen left forelimb with pus oozing on the lower limb. She was immobilized on 17 of March for examination and treatment.

Immobilization and treatment For chemical immobilization we used Etorphine Hcl 16mg in a single 3cc DanInject dart and a 2.2 × 60mm needle. After 10 minutes she went into left lateral recumbency therefore to allow for examination of infected limb the animal was turned over using a rope and vehicle. On examination there was a penetrating wound into the left carpal joint forming an abscess suggestive of a gunshot injury. •

Wound debridement using hydrogen peroxide and lavage using povidone iodine.

20% Oxytetracycline Hcl 200ml deep intramuscular

0.1% Dexamethasone Hcl 50ml intramuscularly

Prognosis for recovery is guarded due to joint involvement.

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MARCH 2014 4.


Treatment of a speared crocodile in Samburu National Reserve, 18 March

History A crocodile with a spear protruding from its abdomen was reported by a naturalist at Samburu lodge on the th 14 March 2014. It is suspected that the crocodile was speared by livestock herders when it attacked their animals in the Ewaso River. The male adult crocodile was 3 meters long and was captured on the 18th of March to retrieve the spear and treat septic wounds. The crocodile was one among twenty others of various ages and sexes which were habituated to resting at the warm river bank every evening when bone meat was provided by the lodge.

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MARCH 2014 Immobilization and treatment A net capture method was used. A capture net was fastened to a tree stump at the river bank and was set to allow the crocodile to walk through it to the feeding point. The target animal was tactically isolated by prodding other individuals away and the net was lunged onto the target. Once the crocodile was entangled in the net, he was held down and a blindfold was thrown over its eyes.

• • • •

A six inch spear was retrieved from the abdominal wall cranial to the left hind leg Wound debridement with dilute hydrogen peroxide Wound lavage with povidone iodine and opticlox ointment applied Betamox trihydrate 3000 mg deep intramuscular into the tail muscle

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MARCH 2014 5.


Treatment of an injured elephant in Wamba, 24 March

History On 24th March, the KWS officer in charge Wamba station reported that an old bull elephant suspected to have been shot showed limited movement and required veterinary attention. He was immobilized on 26th March for examination and treatment. Standard elephant immobilization procedure was followed.

Examination Examination revealed a penetrating gunshot wound at the brisket into the thoracic cavity. There was an abscess on the left rump and severe pododermatitis affecting the left forelimb. For treatment: •

Wound debridement using hydrogen peroxide and lavage using povidone iodine

20% Oxytetracycline Hcl 200ml deep intramuscular

0.1% Dexamethasone Hcl 50ml intramuscularly

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MARCH 2014 Acknowledgement The Meru Mobile Veterinary Unit would like to thank the KWS and the DSWT for their ongoing support of this unit and of course to the unit’s donor for their loyal support. The team is proud to be making a difference within the northern and eastern conservation areas. Reported by:Dr Bernard Rono Unit Veterinarian

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March report from the DSWT's mobile veterinary units  

A comprehensive report of all the cases treated by the Trust's mobile Veterinary units during the month of march

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