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August 11, 2011

In mid July, an elephant was spotted by a herdsman in a community grazing land neighbouring Lewa. She had a spear lodged in her head. The concerned herdsman reported it to the Lewa rangers and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Vet based in Lewa was quickly mobilised to the elephant’s location. She was accompanied by a very young calf.

On the 18th July, the Lewa vet and team went to the elephant's rescue. Without help, she would probably die. In order to get to the elephant and her calf, they had to make their way down a steep descent into the valley where she and her calf were feeding. Once she was darted and the drugs took effect, her calf was ushered away and the treatment begun. Luckily, the spear had not damaged her brain. Once the spear head was removed and the flesh wound cleaned out, she was given a dose of antibiotics and revived.

Her calf quickly came back to her side as soon as the team walked away to watch from a distance. She nudged her mother and encouraged her to get up. It was a bit of a struggle, but once she was up on her feet, she faced the Lewa team and seemed to realise that she felt much better and that we had something to do with it! After a few moments, she turned around and jovially wandered away from us with her calf leading the way.
She was probably injured as a result of human wildlife conflict given that there is prevailing drought in the region that has led to is scarcity of water and vegetation. Latest reports say that she has been spotted, is in good health and has even regained enough strength to climb up the valley is search of food.
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