Last week a concerned member of the public contacted our Wildlife Rescue Hotline with information about a young elephant displaying signs of injury. In response, we quickly alerted park officials in Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve who sent out rangers in search of the elephant.

Within a few days they were able to locate the animal and our Head Veterinarian Dr. Amanda Salb quickly made the journey to Vwaza to provide treatment to the elephant as part of the work of our Wildlife Emergency Response Unit (WERU).

On arrival, she set out on foot to locate the elephant with the support of the ranger team. “Fortunately, it’s wet season so the extra greenery and thick bush kept my approach quiet, letting me get within 25 metres to dart the elephant.” She found multiple wounds that were swelling and oozing pus, suggestive of gunshots. Dr. Salb was able to treat the injuries. “Because further treatment will be required, we also fitted the young elephant with a satellite collar. With the support of our research team this will allow us to easily locate him for follow-up treatment.”

This was WERU’s first collaboration with this particular team of rangers. “It was the first time these rangers had worked on an elephant darting and a collar fitting,” said Dr. Salb, “and they did brilliantly.”

This is just one of many animals the Wildlife Emergency Response Unit has treated recently. We urgently need your support to continue providing this care – please click here if you would like to make a donation.

We’re thankful to Remembering Wildlife for contributing funding to our elephant research in Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve and to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife for their assistance on this emergency response – as well as the person who reported this animal.