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SWT/KWS MT KENYA MOBILE VETERINARY UNIT MARCH 2019


Introduction

7 Cases in March

2 Elephant Cases

2 Giraffe Cases

March Report by Dr. Domnic Mijele

The Mt Kenya Wildlife Veterinary Unit responded to several wildlife cases that required urgent veterinary intervention in the Laikipia ecosystem, Mt. Kenya region and Meru during the month of March 2019. Some of the veterinary interventions included de-snaring of a female reticulated giraffe at Enasoit Conservancy, treatment of two mountain bongos with an abscess and vulvo-vaginitis in Mt. Kenya game ranch and the rescue of an elephant bull stuck at Elkarama Wildlife Conservancy among other cases as highlighted in the report below; Acknowledgement We acknowledge and appreciate the support from our partner Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (SWT), KWS and other partners for supporting wildlife veterinary services. This has made it possible for the veterinary team to respond and save many wildlife cases that required urgent veterinary attention.

Case Details Date

Species

Area Found

Reason for Intervention

Outcome

18-Mar-19

Elephant

Garissa Wildlife Sanctuary

Rescue

Found stuck in a large dam, it had been stuck for about 2 hours

Task Successful

Antelope

Garissa Wildlife Sanctuary

Natural Causes

A female bongo was reported to have discharges from the vulva and general body weakness

Successfully Treated

Elephant

Garissa Wildlife Sanctuary

Natural Causes

Had an open complete compound fracture of the left femur, suspected to have been caused when it fell off the cliff.

Died

21-Mar-19

Giraffe

Loisaba Ranch, Laikipia

Snared

An adult female giraffe was sighted to have a tight wire snare around the distal end of the left hind leg

Successfully Treated

26-Mar-19

Giraffe

Mpala Ranch, Laikipia

Natural Causes

A wound on the right coronary band and fracture of the right front leg

Died

27-Mar-19

Antelope

Imenti Forest, Meru

Natural Causes

An adult male mountain bongo had a large abscess on the left thigh

Successfully Treated

30-Mar-19

Rhino White

Meru National Park

Natural Causes

Suspected to either have an internal injury caused by a blunt object or an infectious condition most likely trypanosomiasis

Prognosis Poor

18-Mar-19

29-Mar-19


SWT/KWS Mt Kenya Mobile Vet Unit Treatment Locations March 2019


Case 1 – 18th March 2019 Elephant

Rescue

Elkarama Wildlife Conservancy

This was a case of an adult male elephant found stuck in a large dam within Elkarama Wildlife Conservancy, it had been stuck for about 2 hours by the time it was sighted by the conservancy team. The vet team responded quite fast and rescued it from the dam.

Rescue Through a combined effort of Elkarama Conservancy, Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and KWS the elephant was pulled out of water gently using strong straps anchored onto the tusks and pulled by a tractor. The elephant lifted up its head straightened its front legs and lifted itself up and stood, the tractor then pulled the strap off the tusk and the elephant slowly walked out of the dam feeling dumb on its rare legs.


Case 2 – 18th March 2019 Bongo

Natural Causes

Mt. Kenya Game Ranch

One of the pregnant female bongo antelopes was reported to have mucopurulent discharges from the vulva and general body weakness. There was acute inflammation of the vulva and vagina also known as ‘vaginitis’ that required veterinary attention to treat the animal and collect samples for further laboratory investigations. Immobilisation, examination and treatment The bongo was darted and became immobilized and recumbent after about 5 minutes. Before treatment, blood samples were collected from the jugular vein and ticks were collected and preserved to establish the cause of infection. Samples from the discharge were also collected and preserved for culture and bacteriology tests. Using long-sleeved gloves, the vulva was flushed and cleaned using tincture of Iodine and all the pus discharges removed completely. The mucous membranes were highly inflamed and lacerated caused by irritation and constant straining. The animal was treated with long-acting Penicillin, multivitamins and Cloxacillin ointment. Prognosis Prognosis was good after treatment and she has since recovered from the infection.


Case 3 – 21st March 2019 Giraffe

Snared

Enasoit Conservancy

An adult female giraffe was sighted to have a tight wire snare around the distal end of the left hind leg. The wire was long and the animal kept stepping on it and staggering, almost falling down. The veterinary team responded quickly to save the giraffe from the pain and disturbance caused by the snare. Immobilisation, examination and treatment The snared giraffe was found alone and was darted from a vehicle using 16mgs of Etorphine Hcl combined with 50mgs of Azaperone delivered with a Dan-inject remote delivery system. It took about 10 minutes for the immobilization drug to take effect and the giraffe was assisted to the ground with ropes by the veterinary team and the team from Enasoit Conservancy. The wire snare had not caused any wound and was carefully cut off using a wire cutter and removed by hand. Prognosis After removal of the snare the giraffe was revived from anaesthesia. The giraffe rose up after one minute feeling much relieved. Prognosis was quite good after the snare was removed.


Case 4 – 26th March 2019 Giraffe

Snared

Elkarama Wildlife Conservancy

An adult male giraffe was reported to be limping and unable to walk in Elkarama Wildlife Conservancy. The animal was quite weak and required immediate veterinary intervention. General Observation The injured giraffe was found standing alone in a thick bushy area. It was darted from a vehicle using 14mgs of Etorphine Hcl delivered by Dan-inject remote delivery system. It took about 6 minutes for the immobilization drug to take effect and the giraffe went down on lateral recumbency. Examination and Euthanasia The giraffe had a cut wound on the right coronary band of the right front leg and a mid-shaft fracture of the two metacarpal bones of the right front leg. The fracture had worsened due to the heavy weight of the giraffe and the affected leg could not support the giraffe any more. The giraffe was in deep pain and had no chance of recovery from the fracture, it was then euthanized using Pentobarbitone Hcl administered through the jugular vein. Tissue and blood samples were collected for research..


Case 5 – 27th March 2019 Bongo

Natural Causes

Mt. Kenya Game Ranch

An adult male mountain bongo had a large abscess on the left thigh that required lancing and treatment. The cause of the abscess was not known but is likely due to environmental contamination within the enclosures, the animal was in pain and quite restless that required urgent veterinary intervention. Immobilisation, examination and treatment The bongo was isolated in an enclosure, where it was darted and became immobilized and recumbent after about 7 minutes. The abscess was shaved clean using a scalpel blade and disinfected with Ethanol and surgical spirit. It was then cut open using a scalpel blade and pressed so all the whitish exudates could be removed and then cleaned properly with 10% Hydrogen peroxide, tincture of Iodine, Opticlox ointment and Oxytetracycline spray. The animal was also treated using long-acting Procaine Penicillin and Dexamethasone. Ivermectin was administered subcutaneously and Frontline sprayed on the affected alopecic areas of the skin Prognosis Prognosis was good after treatment and she has since recovered from the infection.


Case 6 – 29th March 2019 Elephant

Post-mortem

Ol maisor Wildlife Conservancy

An adult bull elephant was found lying on lateral recumbency within the Ol maisor Wildlife Conservancy, it was unable to rise up and was in deep pain. On closure observation, it had a complete fracture of left femur bone. After establishing that it had no chances of recovery a decision was made to euthanize it and postmortem examination conducted. Post-mortem The elephant had an open complete compound fracture of the left femur, suspected to have been caused when it fell off the cliff. Both the tusks were intact and were recovered and taken to KWS custody.

No pictures available for this case.


Case 7 – 30th March 2019 White Rhino

Natural Causes

Meru National Park

This rhino was observed to be very inactive, not feeding and not taking water. It was in a company of another sub-adult female near Mururi swamp. Immobilisation, examination and treatment The team attempted to dart the rhino on foot, but the dart did not discharge and the animal disappeared into the thickets. The team tried to trace it on foot on but had to call for helicopter support. The helicopter came the next day and the rhino was successfully darted from the air and pushed to an open area for treatment. The rhino had a body condition of 3, a high temperature of 39 oc but no physical injury. The mucous membranes and eye conjunctiva were pale. The rhino was suspected to either have an internal injury caused by a blunt object or an infectious condition; most likely trypanosomiasis due to high tsetse fly density. Blood and tick samples were collected for further laboratory diagnosis. The rhino was then treated with a long-acting broad-spectrum antibiotic and multivitamin injection and pre-treated for trypanosomiasis. Prognosis Prognosis was not good because the rhino had fever, anorexia and dehydration

Profile for Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Mt Kenya Veterinary Report for February 2019  

Our Veterinary Units operate in critical conservation areas throughout Kenya, treating a diverse range of animals including threatened and e...

Mt Kenya Veterinary Report for February 2019  

Our Veterinary Units operate in critical conservation areas throughout Kenya, treating a diverse range of animals including threatened and e...