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SWT/KWS MERU MOBILE VETERINARY UNIT April – May 2019


Introduction

15 Cases in April/May

7 Poaching Cases

10 Elephant Cases

April – May 2019 Report This report describes activities of the Meru Veterinary Unit in Northern Kenya in April and May 2019. Many cases were attended to by Dr Njoroge, and two cases were attended to by Dr Mutinda Matthew in absence of the resident veterinarian Dr Bernard Rono and facilitated by the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Dr Rono returned to field work in May 2019 to resume normal duties. Acknowledgement All of the vets that worked with the Meru Vet Unit would like to acknowledge the Conservancy rangers for reporting cases which required veterinary attention and the Kenya Wildlife Service and SWT for providing logistical support to this veterinary unit

Case Details Date

Species

Area Found

04-Apr-19

Black Rhino

05-Apr-19

Elephant

Ol Jogi, Laikipia Lol Daiga, Laikipia

06-Apr-19

Black Rhino

06-Apr-19

Black Rhino

15-Apr-19

Elephant

17-Apr-19

Elephant

06-May-19

Zebra

07-May-19

Elephant

08-May-19

Elephant

08-May-19

Rhino White

14-May-19

Elephant

15-May-19

Elephant

15-May-19

Elephant

22-May-19

Elephant

23-May-19

Lion

Meru NP Meru National Park Rumuruti, Laikipia Namunyak, Samburu Mpala, Laikipia Dol Dol, Laikipia Ngilai, Laikipia Meru National Park Il Polei, Laikipia Ngilai, Laikipia Borana, Laikipia Namunyak, Samburu Lewa, Laikipia

Reason for Intervention Snared Natural Causes Postmortem Natural Causes Natural Causes Spear Natural Causes Bullet Wound Spear Natural Causes Spear Spear Natural Causes Bullet Wound HumanWildlife Conflict

Outcome

A deep cutting wire snare on its right fore limb

Successfully Treated

A right forelimb open compound fracture

Died

Rhino named Mamba, died following a fight with another rhino

Died

Filarial parasitic wound to the rump

Successfully Treated

The wound was tumorous with mushroomlike sceptic growths A spear wound approximately 4cm wide and 8cm deep to the right forelimb An open compound fracture proximal to the hock joint Suffering from a gunshot injury where the external wound had healed The elephant was spotted with a spear sticking out of its forehead

Successfully Treated Successfully Treated

An injury to the left forelimb; assessed, but no intervention required

Task Successful

Had a spear stuck in its head close to the neck that penetrated about 30cm Assessment of an elephant previously treated for spear wound; all well

Had a wound 1cm wide and appeared to have been an entry point for a projectile

Successfully Treated Task Successful Successfully Treated Prognosis Poor

Relocated due to livestock predation in villages around the conservancy

Task Successful

Had a dislocation of the elbow joint

Died Successfully Treated Successfully Treated


SWT/KWS Meru Mobile Vet Unit Treatment Locations April – May 2019


Case 1 – 4th April 2019 Black Rhino

Snare

Ol Jogi Ranch, Laikipia

The black rhino was spotted by the Ol jogi and KWS rangers while on routine patrol.

Immobilisation, examination and treatment The rhino was immobilized using 4.0 mgs Etorphine Hydrochloride and 70 mg Azerperone using the DanInject system from a vehicle. An aircraft helped spot the animal and kept it in sight once darted. The rhino went down in about 7 minutes. On physical examination the rhino had a deep cutting snare around its right forelimb. The snare was removed, and Hydrogen peroxide and tincture of iodine were used to clean the wound. Topical antibiotic cream and green clay was applied into the wound to facilitate healing and avoid infection. The rhino was then injected with 80 ml Betamox L.A and 50 ml Dexamethasone. The entire operation lasted about 20 minutes Prognosis It took about 5 minutes to be fully awake from anaesthesia.


Case 2 – 5th April 2019 Elephant

Natural Causes

Lol Daiga, Laikipia

Personnel from the Lol daiga conservancy reported a lame elephant. The veterinary team attended to the case and found the elephant down and moribund. On examination, the elephant was observed to have had a right forelimb open compound fracture. A decision was made to euthanize the elephant to alleviate suffering and pain. However, the elephant died before any intervention was done. General Observation •

The right forelimb had suffered an open compound fracture and dark tinted blood was oozing from the wound

• • •

The wound was purulent Bone fragments were retrieved from the fractured region The fracture was located on the humerous

Cause of Death The cause of death was from endotoxeamic shock from the long standing wound which had become infected over time. It was observed that the cause of injury/fracture is most likely to have been from a fall over a cliff or sustained from a fight with another bull. No signs of human interference were observed. The tusks were retrieved and delivered to the KWS Laikipia station in Nanyuki for safe custody. Both tusks weighed 3.5 kg each when wet.


Case 3 – 6th April 2019 Black Rhino

Post-mortem

Meru National Park

MNP Warden reported to the Vet Services in Nairobi, three rhinoceros that appeared sickly and required emergency Veterinary response. The team that included, a Vet, Vet Research Scientist, two capture rangers and two veterinary interns were quickly facilitated by air travel to MNP on the 4th April 2019. Only two of the rhinos required treatment. General Observation The team was informed that a white male adult rhino named Mamba, had disappeared for nine-days, which prompted an intensive search to locate it. It was found looking lethargic, slightly reduced body score and blood oozing from the nostril. The team confirmed that the rhino was listless even on close approach. A bloody wound on the lower neck region was observed. The team requested for a helicopter to assist in the immobilization of the animal by the next day 5th April 2019, however the helicopter was not available, so the treatment was postponed to the following day. Sadly, we received a report at 6:30am that the rhino had died. He was 15 years old and approximately 1.5 tonnes in weight. Examination The animal was lying on its side next to a flowing river in the sanctuary. The animal had rigor mortis indicating it had been dead for less than 8 hours and the belly was slightly bloated. There was whitish froth/foam from the nose. There was a penetrating wound over 40cm depth through the brachiocephalicus muscle around the right lower neck region where the front leg joins the body. The animal was turned to its right side and a pair of forceps inserted through the wound to guide us internally. After cutting through, the wound seem hollow and about 30cm wide. The wound was non-septic, there was no smell or pus, and was estimated to be about 3-5days old. There was hematoma/hemothorax as we could see a pool of blood within the lung region. The right cranial of the lung adhered to the pericardium and appeared to be congested and some area of hepatinization. The entire length of trachea was cut open and revealed it was filled with foam/froth, which had spread to the lung cavities. Cause of Death The injury was caused by the horn of a competitor rhino (Moran) during a dominance fight. The horn reached and injured the base of the trachea, which showed sign of trauma since it was covered by fibrin. The dominant rhino (Moran) is reported to have returned to the territory after Mamba disappeared for 9 days The resultant injury caused the intermittent ooze of blood through the nostril and accompanied by cough few days prior to its death. In summary, given that the lung was filled with froth, it triggered pulmonary infection (pneumonia) and finally Asphyxiation resulting in death. The post-mortem was followed by removal of the horns at 10.30 am.

There are no pictures for this case.


Case 4 – 6th April 2019 Black Rhino

Natural Causes

Meru National Park

MNP Warden reported to the Nairobi Vet Services, three rhinoceros that appeared sickly and required Veterinary response. The team that included, a Vet, Vet Research Scientist, two capture rangers and two veterinary interns were quickly facilitated by air travel to MNP on the 4th April 2019. Only two of the rhinos required treatment. Assessment of this rhino showed, despite that the filarial wound was receding, the animal frequently scratches on trees, which opens the wound. The animal was scheduled for treatment. Immobilisation, examination and treatment After a 15 minutes search by helicopter, the animal was spotted and darted with 5ml Etorphine hydrochloride combined with 100ml Azaperone. Narcosis took about 12 minutes and the animal was physically restrained by ropes to push it to recumbence. The rectal temperature of the animal was 39.6â—Śc. The wound on the rump was about 30 by 15 cm. The animal was in good body condition with score of 4. The edges of the wound showed signs of healing as the skin had dried up. The central part of the wound was however, ulcerated. The animal was treated by injecting 60ml Amoxycilin and 5ml Ivermectin. The wound was cleaned with iodine then Alamycine spray applied followed by the green clay. Reversal and Prognosis Once the anaesthetic was reversed, the animal rose up after about 2 minutes. It had a good prognosis because it was reported and treated in time, the wounds also showed good sign of healing.


Case 5 – 15th April 2019 Elephant

Natural Causes

Rumuruti, Laikipia

Two elephants were reported to have been lame in the Northern conservation area. The injuries were as a result of poaching and natural causes.

Immobilisation, examination and treatment The elephant was immobilized using 16 mgs Etorphine from a vehicle. Full immobilization took place after 7 minutes. The trunk was maintained patent by a piece of stick which was placed across the nostrils. On physical examination the elephant had a wound on the sternal region. The wound had pus and dead tissue. On examination, the wound looked tumorous with mushroom like sceptic growths. The wound was about 10 cm deep and was as a result of the tumor. It was thoroughly cleaned using water and Hydrogen Peroxide then lavaged using tincture of Iodine. The bull was then injected with 200 ml Oxytetracycline 20%and 100-ml Dexamethasone at different sites intramuscularly. Topical antibiotic ointment and green clay was then applied on the wound to facilitate healing. Reversal and Prognosis The anaesthetic was reversed, and the elephant got up after 16 minutes with assistance from the land cruiser. The operation lasted about 45 minutes.


Case 6 – 17th April 2019 Elephant

Spear

Namunyak Conservancy, Samburu

The KWS rangers reported a case of an injured elephant in the area. The elephant was in a relatively open area hence darting from a vehicle was done.

Immobilisation, examination and treatment The elephant was immobilized using 16 mgs Etorphine Hydrochloride and fell on sternal recumbence but was pushed to lateral recumbence using a land cruiser. On physical examination the elephant had a wound approximately 4 cm (width) and 8 cm (deep) about 3-4 weeks old on the right forelimb. The wound was septic and had necrotic tissue. An incision was made distal to the wound where there was a pus pocket to allow access and drainage of pus from the wound. The wound is likely to have been caused by a spear. The dead tissue was debrided and removed then the wound was cleaned using water, Hydrogen Peroxide and tincture of Iodine. Topical antibiotic cream and green clay was then applied into the wound to facilitate healing and avoid infection. The elephant was then injected with 200ml Oxytetracycline L.A and 100 ml Dexamethasone. The entire operation lasted about 30 minutes. Reversal and Prognosis It took about 4 minutes to be fully awake from anaesthesia. Prognosis is good.


Case 7 – 6th May 2019 Zebra

Natural Causes

Mpala Ranch, Laikipia

The management of Mpala ranch reported to have spotted an injured, severely limping zebra. A vet team was dispatched to the area to attend to the case. Immobilisation, examination and treatment The zebra was darted from a vehicle using 7mg etorphine and 60 mg Azerperone. It went down after 7 minutes on lateral recumbency. The zebra was found to have suffered from an open compound fracture proximal to the hock joint. It was evident that the zebra had a poor prognosis. To alleviate suffering and pain, a decision was made to euthanize the zebra.


Case 8 – 7th May 2019 Elephant

Bullet Wound

Dol Dol, Laikipia

Two elephants, a white rhino and a zebra were reported to have been lame in the Northern and Meru conservation areas. The injuries were as a result of poaching and natural causes. Immobilisation, examination and treatment The elephant was immobilized using 18 mgs Etorphine Hydrochloride in a 3cc dart. As this was an urgent case, SWT provided a helicopter from which the vet darted the animal. Full immobilization took place after 7 minutes. The trunk was maintained patent by with a piece of stick which was placed across the nostrils. On visual observation from the helicopter, the elephant was lame and had a highly swollen right forelimb. Physical examination revealed it was suffering from a gunshot injury where the external wound had healed but left the joint highly inflamed and swollen. Antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and analgesics were administered to manage the injury. Reversal and Prognosis The anesthetic was reversed using 60 mg Diprenorphine. The elephant got up after 6 minutes. The operation lasted about 30 minutes. Prognosis is good.


Case 9 – 8th May 2019 Elephant

Spear

Ngilai, Laikipia

The elephant was spotted with a spear sticking out of its forehead. The veterinary team was called by the KWS Wamba personnel to attend to the case. Immobilisation, examination and treatment The vet immobilized the elephant from a vehicle using 18 mgs Etorphine. Full immobilization took place after 6 minutes. Physical examination revealed the spear head had penetrated about 50 cm deep into the forehead. The spear head was carefully removed, and the resultant wound thoroughly cleaned using water, Hydrogen Peroxide and tincture of Iodine. The bull was then injected with 200 ml Oxytetracycline and 100 ml Dexamethasone at different sites intramuscularly. Topical antibiotic ointment and green clay was then applied on the wound to facilitate healing. Reversal and Prognosis The anesthetic was reversed using 60 mg Diprenorphine. The elephant got up after 6 minutes. The operation lasted about 30 minutes and the elephant has a goof prognosis for recovery.


Case 10 – 8th May 2019 White Rhino

Natural Causes

Meru National Park

The management of Meru National Park reported to have spotted an injured white rhino. A vet team was dispatched to the area to attend to the case. Immobilisation, examination and treatment The white rhino was approached tactfully on foot to have a close view for visual examination. On examination, the rhino was observed to have had an injury on the left fore limb. It was observed that the wound had naturally healed. Other observations made included a •

High body score (4 on a scale of 5)

Normal temperament

Good/normal feeding habbits

Normal walking gait

Prognosis No clinical intervention was required at this point. The Meru veterinary team and rhino protection units were requested to closely monitor the rhino for the next one week.


Case 11 – 14th May 2019 Elephant

Spear

Il Polei, Laikipia

The elephant was spotted with a spear sticking out on its head. The veterinary team was called by JOCC (Joint Operation Control Centre) Lewa. The elephant was reported to have been in a rugged bushy terrain and hence darting from a vehicle was not possible and a helicopter was requested. Immobilisation, examination and treatment The elephant was immobilized from a helicopter with 18 mgs Etorphine Hydrochloride. Full immobilization took place after 5 minutes and the elephant went down on lateral recumbency. The trunk was maintained patent by the help of a piece of stick which was placed across the trunk entrance. On physical examination revealed the spear had lodged in the elephants head close to the neck. The spear head had penetrated about 30 cm deep and its entire length was hanging along its back. The spear head was carefully removed, and the resultant wound thoroughly cleaned using water, Hydrogen Peroxide and tincture of Iodine. The bull was then injected with 100 ml Oxytetracycline and 100 ml dexamethasone. Topical antibiotic ointment and green clay was then applied on the wound to facilitate healing. Reversal and Prognosis After 30 minutes the anaesthetic was reversed and the animal got up after about 10 minutes. The Prognosis is good.


Case 12 – 15th May 2019 Elephant

Spear

Ngilai, Laikipia

On the 8th May 2019 an elephant was treated with a serious head spear wound to the head. The spear was removed, and the elephant treated. KWS and Conservancy Rangers were tasked to monitor the elephant so it could be reviewed, re-treated if necessary and ensure recovery. Review The rangers spotted the elephant and alerted the Vet Unit which attended for a review. The elephant was observed to have fully recovered and had a normal gait, healed wound and good body condition. He was spotted about 10 km from where he was treated. No clinical intervention was required, and a clean bill of health was awarded.


Case 13 – 15th May 2019 Elephant

Natural Causes

Borana Ranch, Laikipia

A subadult male elephant in Borana presented with severe lameness of its left front leg. No visible injury was found on close observation.The Vet Unit immobilized this elephant to investigate the cause of lameness.

Immobilisation, examination and treatment Rangers in Borana had spotted the elephant earlier in the day in company of another bull and watched it until we arrived. The Vet Unit approached the elephant by vehicle and delivered a Dan-Inject dart containing 7mg Etorphine into the gluteal muscles. The anaesthetic took full effect after four minutes. Its trunk was extended to ensure airway patency and the left eye covered with the ear flap to prevent direct exposure to sunlight. This elephant had favored the left front leg and close observation showed a swelling on its elbow. Crepitus was felt on manipulation. This suggested a dislocation of the elbow joint. The Vet gave conservative treatment by administration of anti-inflammatory drugs and multivitamin supplements. Reversal and Prognosis Prognosis for recovery is fair. This injury appears to have occurred much earlier and considering the young age of this elephant it can easily adapt to the deformity.


Case 14 – 22nd May 2019 Elephant

Bullet Wound

Namunyak Conservancy, Samburu

An elephant bull in Namunyak Conservancy presented lameness and swelling of its right front leg. Pus was also seen oozing from the carpal joint. The Vet Unit immobilized the elephant to treat wounds.

Immobilisation, examination and treatment The vet darted the elephant from foot using 16mg Etorphine hydrochloride in a Dan-inject dart. The elephant went down in 7 minutes resting on its left side. Examination showed an open abscess 15cm deep into the right carpal joint. The opening was approximately 1cm diameter and appeared to have been an entry point for a projectile. The cause of this wound is from a high velocity bullet. The wound was Infused with Hydrogen peroxide to remove the pus and dead tissue debris, then rinsed with water and iodine. Parenteral antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs were also administered. Prognosis Due to joint involvement the prognosis is guarded.


Case 15 – 23rd May 2019 Lion

Human-wildlife Conflict

Lewa Conservancy, Laikipia

A This 2.5 year old lion was identified by the species monitoring team in Lewa to be responsible for livestock predation in villages around the Conservancy. It had recently been separated from its mother and had not joined another pride. This lion was captured and relocated to the expansive Meru national park. A tracking collar was fitted for monitoring its movement within the park.

Profile for Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

SWT/KWS Meru Mobile Veterinary Unit Report for April-May 2019  

SWT/KWS Veterinary Units operate in critical conservation areas throughout Kenya, treating a diverse range of animals including threatened a...

SWT/KWS Meru Mobile Veterinary Unit Report for April-May 2019  

SWT/KWS Veterinary Units operate in critical conservation areas throughout Kenya, treating a diverse range of animals including threatened a...