On May 20, 2017 the Mara Elephant Project received a call to help the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust/Kenya Wildlife Service Mara Mobile Veterinary Unit locate and treat a wounded baby elephant. The calf had been spotted in the Mara Conservancy limping with wounds in the hind leg and missing it’s tail.
MEP deployed the Karen Blixen Camp Ree Park Safari helicopter to help the vet locate the mother and baby who were hiding in thick forest. MEP used the helicopter to help safely separate the mother from her calf, so that the vet vehicle could get between the two in order to assess the calf’s injuries.
After determining the calf needed preventative treatment, the baby elephant was darted and quickly loaded into the vehicle. DSWT/KWS vet, Dr. Limo, wasted no time cleaning the wounds, injecting the calf with antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medication before reuniting him with his mother who was waiting just 100 meters away.
They carefully unloaded the calf that promptly let out a sound that brought his mother to his side. She stood just inches away from the front of the vehicle without any display of aggression because she clearly understood her baby was being helped and welcomed him back into her care the moment the treatment was finished.
The mother and calf’s movements and his wounds will be monitored, with the possibility of a follow-up treatment to ensure he fully recovers from his ordeal.
MEP is successful in our mission to protect elephants and conserve the greater Mara ecosystem because of partnerships with organizations like DSWT and KWS.