Elephant Found Seriously Injured

On the second day of the Limpopo NP collaring operation, the team located and darted a lone elephant bull in the southern section of the park. We selected this bull for collaring because lone males are often the explorers. They can provide key data on protected area connectivity. Furthermore, large elephant bulls are also preferred targets of poaching syndicates. This makes this individual an ideal candidate for collaring.

The operation was clean and fast. After 16 minutes, as we were getting ready to reverse anesthesia, the helicopter pilot, James Schuen from DAG APU, called the STS vet to inspect a wound he found on the forehead of the mighty animal.

What we found was worrying and surprising. A deep wound penetrating the upper part of the skull causing a severe infection. Additionally, with multiple bone fragments in the wound cavity. The lesion was cleaned, disinfected and antibiotics were administered. Unfortunately, the STS vet had limited supplies (due to limited space in the helicopter). However, we are planning to revisit him soon for ore complete treatment.
Fortunately, with the support of our partners at ANAC, Peace Parks Foundation and Elephants Alive we will be able to give this animal a second chance.