Zambia

Livingstone

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Zambia and Zimbabwe come together in a joint conservation effort to rescue an Elephant

Zambia and Zimbabwe come together in a joint conservation effort to rescue an Elephant

The vet cut the wire aware with cutters and the wound was thoroughly cleaned and treated
The vet cut the wire aware with cutters and the wound was thoroughly cleaned and treated
Camilla Rhodes

 

By: LUCKSON SITUMBEKO, Livingstone Guide

I set off on a boat cruise on the Zambezi River, with a family of four. Five minutes into the trip, I spotted an elephant on an island. My guests were excited to see their first Zambian elephant. I kept an eye on the animal, as he appeared to be behaving differently.

As we got closer, I realised that he had a snare wound around the ankle. I pulled out my binoculars to have a closer look and I saw a piece of strand wire sticking out of his badly swollen leg.

I pointed it out to the guests, and they quickly pulled out their glasses to look.

“Luckson, what are you going to do about this?” asked the guests. “Is there anything we can do to help this poor elephant? What happens to the perpetrators if they get caught? Are they ever caught at all? This elephant is in great pain.”

I said I would report it to the Zambia Wildlife Authority, and the vet would be flown in. After the cruise, I reported the matter to the manager. The following morning I drove to the Zambia Wildlife Authority offices in Livingstone to make a formal report.

I was impressed to note that we now have a resident vet for our wildlife. I met Dr Jackson who promised to come and check on the elephant. A few hours later Dr Jackson arrived with his team and I took them to the island. The elephant had moved about five metres from where we’d left it. We took pictures and left, Dr Jackson promising to come back as he had to organise supplies from Lusaka.

Two days later, the vet arrived back with his team. The elephant was found and  tranquilised, the vet cut the wire with wire cutters and cut away the rotten flesh around the wound. He cleaned the wound thoroughly, and treated it with penicillin and other medications. We watched the elephant stand up, sniff his foot and walk easily away.

Special thanks to Dr Jackson and his team including Roger Parry from Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, Zimbabwe. I was pleased to see how determined the two countries Zambia and Zimbabwe are in joint operations to save our wildlife.