This mother elephant stands protectively over her baby, trying to rouse it. It’s a dangerous situation that calls for another dart.
A baby elephant’s leg is entwined in a poacher’s snare. A compassionate veterinary team rushes to the scene and darts the little elephant. But while it falls unconsciousness, its mother becomes very agitated and refuses to leave its side. The mother elephant tries to lift the baby, nudging it with her foot and trunk.
She’s got her eye on the vet team and is clearly upset. Elephant mothers are dedicated and highly protective parents, and she could be a real danger to the veterinary team.
So, they send another tranquilizer dart her way. Once she’s down, they can safely work on freeing the youngster from the snare.
The scene took place at the Olaro Motorogi Conservancy in South West Kenya. SkyVets from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Kenya Wildlife Service made this rescue happen.
SkyVets “jointly operate four successful Mobile Veterinary Units with Kenya Wildlife Service field veterinary officers within the Tsavo Conservation Area, the Masai Mara and Central Rift, the Meru ecosystem and the Northern and Eastern conservancies, and now most recently in the Southern Conservation Area incorporating southern Tsavo West National Park, Amboseli National Park and the Chyulu Hills including the surrounding groups ranches stretching as far as Kajiado and Magadi.”
That’s a lot of country. Sometimes SkyVets use helicopters or planes to get to the area.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has successfully hand-raised over 150 infant elephants whose mothers have been lost to poaching. They also claim to have seen success in effectively reintegrating orphaned elephants back into the wild herds of Tsavo.
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