RESCUE EXTREME & RESCUE FRUSTRATIONS
When wildlife is found wounded and suffering at the hands of human intervention there is only one course of action – to help! Luckily when we are alerted to such a case in Zambia there is always some incredible support on hand to help us do all we can to alleviate suffering.
The elephant in this photo was spotted by stakeholders in the Kafue National Park by Lake Itezhi-Tezhi. This poor bull had a wire snare wrapped around its back right leg, which was causing immense pain, indicated by its lameness and leaving behind a trail of blood. The local community also raised the same concern as the elephant was passing through villages routinely with a herd, albeit at a much slower pace, posing an increased safety risk for the community, as a wounded elephant is a very dangerous elephant.
Our team immediately set out to locate the elephant and managed to get him in sight last Wednesday afternoon. In a quick turn around and with huge thanks to Andrew Woodley and Niner Juliet Logistics, Andrew flew Dr Jackson Katampi DNPW Senior Vet to dart and treat the elephant. However as they approached the Lake a storm set in and disrupted both the elephant’s movements and the ability to fly! With the plane grounded and the elephants dispersed the mission had to be postponed.
We continued to search for the elephant for the following week by foot patrols, vehicle and drone aerial support. Towards the end of the week we were offered the use of a helicopter, with huge thanks to Elephant Connection who were in the local area GPS collaring elephants for movement monitoring purposes in the KAZA (Kavango-Zambezi) region. It was too good an opportunity to miss, having aerial support with the DNPW Senior vet aboard only minutes away from the Lake. So in a huge collaborative effort we spent a day searching for this poor elephant using the full combination of helicopter, aeroplane, foot patrols, vehicle patrols and drone!
This was an immense effort and manpower in attempt to locate the injured elephant and despite all our best efforts he could not be located and has sadly not been seen to date. We want to take this opportunity to say a huge, huge thank you to everyone who injected their efforts, finances and support into trying to get help where it was most needed. It is an absolute tragedy that this magnificent bull elephant has been subjected to such a cruel and torturous device as a wire snare and despite not having been successful in supporting this elephant yet we will continue undeterred in our work to support Zambia’s wildlife through RESCUE, PROTECTION and OUTREACH.