An enormous elephant has miraculously recovered after it was felled by a single poa.c.her’s poisonous arrow in a Kenyan park.
Doctors raced against time to save the giant elephant named Wide Satao after it was h.i.t by an arrow in Tsavo East national park in Kenya.
If left untreated, the poison would have k.il.led him within 48 hours.
Wide Satao is a ‘big tusker’ – a term used to describe elephants with tusks aged over 40 years, which are targeted for their valuable ivory – with each tusk estimated to be worth over $130,000 (£85,000).
The dramatic pictures were shot by a British photographer couple named Victoria Peckett and Philip Ladmore.
After being sedated with a dart, Wide Sato had his w.ound cleaned; then he was given a large dose of antibiotic medicine.
Mr. Ladmore, a company director from Middlesex, England, said: ‘As we approached Wide Satao, we realized that he had been shot by a poacher’s poisoned arrows in his side.
We had to wait until the following day and take a plane to relocate him. Then we called the vet.
We were close enough to watch his operation to remove the dirt and clean up the wo.u.nd. Then we gave him the wake-up drugs.
‘We saw him struggling to get up from the ground, but then he moved off from his group of male elephants’
According to a 2014 study by the Colorado State University, around 100,000 elephants were slau.ght.ered for their ivory between 2011 and 2014.
The illegal ivory trade is fuelled by demand from Asian countries, particularly China. One kilogram of ivory can sell for up to $3, 000.
Ivory from elephants such as Wide Sataos is highly valued because of its incredible weight.
He said: “Big tuskers are mostly old male elephants with tusk weights of 100 pounds or more.”
And their numbers are dwindling because they’re so valuable.