“We don’t know who speared her,” Joyce Poole, an elephant behavior expert and co-director of ElephantVoices, told The Dodo. “Unfortunately there is a lot of human-elephant conflict in the Mara. Spear wounds and arrow wounds are rather common.”
Nalakite had gotten a nasty infection from the spear wound, according to Poole. If the vet team didn’t treat her, Nalakite would die. At the same time, treating her was also risky. They worried about Nalakite not being able to get back up after being sedated.
“Once down, it is difficult to get an elephant up if it does not have the energy to do so itself,” Poole said. “If it it is too weak to get up, it cannot eat or drink and won’t survive.”