A brave rescue crew has rescued an inj.ur.ed baby elephant after it was caught in a po.ac.her’s snare and speared.
The baby was aba.n.doned in Kenya’s 15,000 acre Rumuruti Forest earlier this year, where he had been left to d.i.e.
It is thought that p.oac.hers ab.and.oned him to die after discovering that the youngster lacked the ivory tusks they were looking for.
The one-year-old elephant had a large spear wo.u.nd to his head, as well as a de.a.dly snare wrapped around his leg, both of which were potentially fa.ta.l.
After being saved by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT), he was flown to a nearby airport, where a specialized mobile veterinary team examined his wo.u.nds before transporting him for one hour in an aircraft.
He was taken to the DSWT orphanage in Nairobi National Park, 230 kilometers away, where he received around-the-clock medical care for three months.
‘We believe Simotua was att.ac.ked by ivory poachers – the snare had sliced through his skin and flesh, cutting down to the bone, making any movement extremely painful and leaving him unable to walk far for food or water,’ Rob Brandford, is the Executive Director of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (UK), said.
Without treatment, he would have di.e.d of starvation or infection would have set into his w.ou.nds, causing a drawn-out and excruciating death.
‘Our team did their best to calm him throughout the procedure and to keep his w.ou.nds clean and treated by packing them with green clay and giving him antibiotics.’
Simotua is healing quickly, and he’s made some new pals at the orphanage, according to Rob.
He said: After two weeks, his wound had healed enough for him to walk about the woods for the first time, gingerly putting weight on his wo.un.ded leg.
Simotua continues to grow alongside the other infant elephant orphans, who are critical in his healing process – their gentle squeezes with their trunks reassure Simotua that he is under secure care.
‘In the wild, more than 90 baby elephants from various causes have been given a second chance at life by our conservation program. We are certain that Simotua will be able to join them in a few years when he is old enough.’
Simotua’s assault was caused by the illegal ivory trade, which is fueled by demand in Asia and results in an elephant being m.urd.ered every 15 minutes on the African continent.
Charity founder Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick wants to raise awareness of this de.ad.ly problem that plagues one of the planet’s gentle giants on World Elephant Day.
She said: We are at a turning point for the future of wild elephants. We see the devastating consequences of the ivory trade in our work daily, but mankind-made extinction cannot be the end of this magnificent species.
‘As the ivory trade sustains more pointless deaths of these magnificent creatures yet, their loss will impact all of us in the end.’