WVS is working on the Wildlife Veterinary Project with Game Rangers International, a charity that supports communities living around the Kafue National Park. It manages the natural resources of the area through support to wildlife management and protection and community outreach and education.
Our veterinary project manager Sylvain Hawawini spoke to us today ...
WVP team had a tough day at the beginning of October. With the support of ZAWA Wildlife Veterinary Department, we flew to Kafue National Park to rescue an elephant. This old bull was seen 2 weeks before with a wound on a foot. Meantime, its condition decreased and he started to walk with difficulty.
We darted him from a helicopter and managed to treat the wound. His rear left foot was severely damaged with a suspicion of bone fractures and infection. However, combined with his old age, the elephant never managed to stand up after the procedure.
The post-mortem revealed a severe bone infection (osteomyelitis) of the foot with many bone fragments and severe general infection (septicaemia). His future didn't look very shiny.
However, the aspect of the wound is likely to be a consequence of a gunshot. Elephants are more than ever victims of poaching. Game Rangers International works on different levels to address this global issue: anti-poaching, veterinary rescues, anti-trafficking, community work and research.
Despite a frustrated outcome for this magnificent animal, this mission was a great example of how a good collaboration with ZAWA is effective. Anti-poaching teams and ZAWA veterinarian worked together and did their best to save him.