A one-year-old elephant calf, Simotua, was given a second chance at life after being rescued from a poacher’s snare and a spear attack in Kenya’s Rumuruti Forest, a 15,000-acre expanse.
Poachers for his ivory targeted the young elephant, but they left him to die upon realizing he had no tusks.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) came to Simotua’s aid, finding him with a spear wound on his skull and a snare constricting his leg, both posing serious threats to his life.
The rescue team brought him to a local airstrip, where a mobile veterinary team assessed his injuries before flying him to the DSWT orphanage in Nairobi National Park for round-the-clock medical care.
On the mend: Simotua, the baby elephant, pictured at the start of his recovery in June 2015 in Nairobi National Park, had been caught in on a poacher’s snare and attacked with a spear. Source: Daily Mail
Rob Brandford, Executive Director of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (UK), explained that Simotua’s injuries were severe and life-threatening.
“Without action, he would have quickly starved to death, or infection would have set into his wounds, causing a prolonged and painful death,” he said.
The DSWT team cleaned and treated Simotua’s wounds, applied green clay, and administered antibiotics to prevent infection.
Helping hands: Simotua was discovered by a rescue team in Rumuruti Forest, Kenya, with potentially life-threatening injuries. Source: Daily Mail
Simotua’s recovery has been swift, and he has found companionship at the orphanage. Brandford shared that two weeks after his rescue, Simotua was able to walk through the forest and bond with fellow infant elephant orphans.
These friendships have been crucial for his healing, providing him with reassurance and a sense of safety.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has successfully returned over 90 rescued orphaned elephants to the wild, and they are optimistic that Simotua will join them when he is fully grown.
The rescue team removed the deadly poacher’s snare, which was wrapped around the elephant’s leg. Source: Daily Mail
Saved: The rescue team loaded the elephant onto a vehicle after finding him alone and injured. Source: Daily Mail
His ordeal highlights the ongoing issue of the illegal ivory trade, driven by demand in Asia and resulting in the death of an elephant every 15 minutes in Africa.
Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, the charity’s founder, urged for action on World Elephant Day to address this devastating problem. “We are at crossroads for the future of wild elephants… man-made extinction cannot be the end of this iconic species.
As the ivory trade continues to fuel more senseless deaths of these beautiful animals, ultimately, their loss will have an impact on each and every one of us.”
Horrific injuries: It is believed Simotua was left to die by evil poachers who found him to lack tusks. Source: Daily Mail
Happy again: Simotua is clearly enjoying his new surroundings in Nairobi National Park, Nairobi. Source: Daily Mail
Playtime: The fragile baby elephant quickly made new friends at the orphanage and is now part of the herd. Source: Daily Mail