The elephant that almost lost its trunk to a snare…..

The elephant that almost lost its
trunk to a snare working twice as hard to drink to its fill. Please note the injured head of the trunk.

As we reopened Salt Lick Safari Lodge I bumped into our usual herds of elephants that frequent the water hole that is right opposite the lounge.

It is one of the closest close up you will ever get to a wild African elephant.

The purpose of my post this morning is to show you the challenges these gentle giants are facing to remain  alive.

A couple of weeks ago the rangers at our 28,000 private sanctuary noticed that one of the elephants in the herd was having serious trouble drinking water and the pain it was undergoing was real.

Elephants are emotional animals and they will even shed tears to express their emotions, they are one of the rare animals that mourn their dead. They express deep grief when they lose a loved one.

In Tsavo including Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary bush meat hunters are very many and they will place myriad of snares to trap small game like dik diks and antelopes. It is illegal act but they still do it.

Our rangers have to walk on foot to identify the snares and remove them. This is what KWS and Shedrick Wildlife Trust would do on daily basis.

In the process an elephant trunk may end up getting trapped and the outcome can be quite serious and sometimes may lead to death.

If you closely watch this bull you will notice the trunk was seriously damaged by a snare and officers from KWS and Shedrick Wildlife Trust  managed to sedate it and removed the snare that was grinding and eating into the trunk. You can imagine the pain and the wound was going to turn septic and the head of the trunk would have fallen off.

A trunk is an elephant’s most versatile tool, used for breathing, smelling, touching, grasping, and producing sound. It’s probably the most amazing body part of this gentle giant. It is like someone tying your tongue with a wire and you almost end losing half your tongue

You can see the effects of the injury, water seems to flow out of the damaged trunk which means it will spend more time and energy to fetch enough water.

Well I thought you should know what it takes to preserve our wildlife heritage in light of human wildlife conflict abd getting the local community sustainable ways to earn a living.

We  are committed to engage directly with the local community at all times and as a start 85% of the workforce are drawn from the local community
We also intend to buy local products for that indirect employment. We buy most of our vegetables from local women suppliers

I would like to thank profoundly KWS and Shedrick Wildlife Trust who have always arrived quickly when we alert them about any animal in distress and more so elephants, giraffes, lions etc

Well as always I choose to remain an optimist

Mohammed Hersi

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary.

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