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Snared Elephant in Samburu

September 13, 2003 Sara Spendrup

Early one morning in January we got a call from the Save the Elephant headquarters in Samburu Park. They had just spotted one of their elephant with a snare around its leg.

The Lewa Team took off immediately and within an hour we were on the site looking for the elephant. It was not very hard to find because the wound really slowed it down. The whole leg looked bent and bruised. The elephant was darted without difficulties and soon she (it was a young female, probably not more that five years old) was fast asleep on the ground and we could take a closer look.

The wound was horrific. The snare was buried so deep in the leg so it took Ian about 15 minutes to dig it out. Finally we got it out and the wound was cleaned and she was given a huge amount of antibiotics. After she was given the antidote she came around very quickly and after a few seconds she was up and walking. All of us immediately thought that she looked much better.

She was a very lucky little elephant. The snare had probably been buried in her leg for at least five weeks and without having it removed she would not have survived. In the last six months, Lewa has rescued three elephants from snares.