Rescue Triumph: Elephant Freed from Agony of Wire Snare in Swift Operation

In a heartening rescue effort, a young female elephant has been successfully liberated from the torment of a tight wire snare that inflicted agonizing injuries to her left ear and neck.

The rescue operation, driven by quick action and keen observation, unfolded on the afternoon of February 22, ending this majestic creature’s prolonged suffering.

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The urgency began when Adriano, an esteemed honorary warden and guide, alerted our team to a distressing discovery—a young elephant entangled in a dangerous snare.

Adriano’s quick thinking included capturing photographs of the distressing sight, showcasing the elephant amidst a sizable herd of approximately 25 majestic creatures.

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Upon receiving the urgent message, the SWT Operations Room in Kaluku immediately notified KWS Vet Dr. Poghon.

Recognizing the need for immediate intervention, preparations commenced despite the late hour, with a helicopter equipped with veterinary tools, including straps, water, medications, wire cutters, and more, dispatched to the scene.

Despite the challenges posed by the late afternoon hour, the helicopter, carrying Dr. Poghon and his assistant, was en route to Voi by 3.30 pm.

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The team, guided by the reported sighting, headed towards Ibis Point west of Tsavo East’s Sala Gate, arriving at 4.20 pm to the incredible sight of two large herds of elephants spread out on both sides of the Galana River.

Identifying the specific sub-adult with a thin cable snare proved challenging amidst the many elephants.

However, a sharp-eyed team member spotted the female elephant with a damaged ear during the first pass, thanks to the distinctive feature observed earlier by Adriano.

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Benefiting from the vast and open landscape alongside the river, the team maintained visual contact, swiftly descending to grant Dr. Poghon the opportunity to prepare a customized tranquilizer dart.

The helicopter ascended, and the patient was located and darted accurately by Dr. Poghon with the assistance of pilot Andy.

The drowsy elephant gracefully lowered herself to her knees and collapsed near the ground crew.

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With swift precision, Dr. Poghon removed the snare using wire cutters, identifying it as a strong cable, possibly a clutch cable from a vehicle.

The wound was cleaned and treated with green clay for healing, and the elephant received antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.

Prepared for revival, the team loaded the necessary equipment onto the helicopter. It took the elephant several attempts, but she managed to stand and slowly rejoined her herd at the river. Dr. Poghon is optimistic about a favorable recovery for the neck wound.

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The coordinated response of the Trust’s airwing and SWT/KWS Veterinary Unit ensured the swift removal of the harmful snare, providing immense relief and pride to the team as they witnessed the elephant’s return to her herd, free from the torment of the wire snare.

Read more Elephant News.

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