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Elephant Defies the Odds, Survives a Poacher’s Bullet to the Head

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FB/Aware Trust Zimbabwe

This just may be the toughest and luckiest elephant in Zimbabwe.

Veterinarians from Aware Trust discovered a stunning sight in Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park. It was a huge elephant with bullet hole in his head.

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FB/Aware Trust Zimbabwe

“We think he was shot outside of the park and came into the park for refuge,” Dr. Lisa Marabini told the BBC. Mana Pools is yet another African National Park that has been targeted heavily by poachers the last few years looking for the animal’s ivory. Marabini told the BBC that had the bullet hit just a little bit lower, the elephant would have been dead from a brain shot.

Even more amazing than the fact this elephant survived a head shot is the fact that the vets believed the animal had been shot three to six weeks ago. When the vets first spotted the elephant that they later nicknamed “Pretty Boy,” the large animal actually approached the vets.

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FB/Aware Trust Zimbabwe

“It’s like he knew we were there with the intention of helping him,” Marabini said.

Vets were able to tranquilize Pretty Boy and after closer examination, they found a second injury on his side. They think the poachers took another shot as he turned to flee. “We suspect he was shot in the head fist and turned to flee and the poacher put another bullet in his side.”

After an X-ray and using a metal detector to determine where the bullet was, the vets ultimately decided it was probably safer to leave the bullet where it was. They did clean the wound just to be safe.

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FB/Aware Trust Zimbabwe

They believe Pretty Boy to be 25 years old and they plan to keep an eye on him in case he needs further treatment. It’s always good to see poachers thwarted, even better when it’s the animals themselves doing it!

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Elephant Defies the Odds, Survives a Poacher’s Bullet to the Head