Ivory poaching isn't the only threat to elephant populations across Africa. Bush meat hunting also claims many victims. Trapped by illegal snares intended for antelope and other small game, these indiscriminate devices capture anything from birds to young elephants, causing unspeakable suffering and, all too often, a painful and drawn out death.
One lucky survivor is Mwashoti, a male elephant calf who first came to our attention in February 2015 when he was spotted with a severe injury to one of his front legs, the result of a tight snare which had cut deep to the bone, very nearly severing the foot from the leg.
As our intention is to keep wild families together wherever possible, we were keen to give him a chance to heal in a wild situation. He was treated by our DSWT / Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit who cut loose the strangulating cable, thoroughly cleansed the wound and administered long-acting antibiotics before reuniting him with his herd.
The snare cut deep to the bone, almost severing the foot from the leg Photo: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust