Elephant calf snare removal

June 2021
Elephant calf treated for severe leg snare

Field rangers in the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve located a young elephant calf with a severe snare wound on its back left leg. The severity of the wound was affecting the calf’s movement and the mother and calf had separated from the main herd, unable to keep up. Wild Wonderful World was called to assist with funding to help dart and treat the wounded elephant calf.

We landed with the helicopter in the bush and met with the ground team (2 anti poaching rangers, the reserve manager, ecological manager and a few guides/trackers from nearby lodges), to discuss the plan of action. The helicopter went up and flew close to the mother and calf, firstly for the vet to check the extent of the calf’s injury (and the size of the calf to ensure the right amount of drugs are administered) and also to see if the Mother would run off or stay close and protective. She did not leave her calf’s side, so it was decided the mother would also need to be darted to enable the team to get close enough to the calf to treat.

First the calf was darted with a sedative and took around 8 minutes to go down. Next the mother was darted, and she took 3 darts before she was fully sedated. The vet wanted the mother and calf to go down in the same place so that both could be monitored and woken up together – this was important to ensure the mother did not get separated from the calf, who then would have been in danger from predators.

Once sedated, the helicopter landed and the vet and ground team moved in. The wire had cut very deeply into the elephant’s leg and was still attached, creating a nasty wound and a lot of swelling. Wire cutters were used to cut away the snare- which was a nasty cable snare. The vet flushed and cleaned the wound vigorously, and sprayed it with an antiseptic. The calf was given a strong dose of anti-biotics to assist with the infection. The vet noted that he was slightly anaemic as well and had lost considerable condition, so vitamins were also administered.

The wake up process was a quick one – first the reversal drug was injected into the cow and then the vet ran to the calf to administer the calf’s reversal. The calf woke up first, followed very shortly by the mother. The both stood a bit dazed for some moments but moved toward one another and then together moved off into the bush.

Considerable pressure would have been released from the calf’s leg without the snare wire still attached, and the vet said he was hopeful that the wound would heal and the calf would do well. We have not yet received any updated or sightings from this wounded calf, but certainly he is in a much better position than he was previously and now stands a fighting chance of survival.

More updates

Rhino calf treated for suspected gunshot

June 2021
Rhino calf darted to treat deep neck wound
Read More

Elephant saved from tyre

May 2021
Car tyre removed from Elephant Bulls leg
Read More

Bees, Trees and Elephants

April 2021
Beehive donated to save iconic trees from elephants
Read More

SPCA funding for Cape Town fires

April 2021
Funding provided to support SPCA efforts to save wildlife affected by the Cape Town fire
Read More

Elephant bull collared for research

March 2021
Dex the Elephant collared with Elephants Alive
Read More

Helicopter hours sponsored to catch poachers

February 2021
Rhino poachers apprehended thanks to rapid response
Read More

Ground Hornbill nest installed

December 2020
Artifical nest installed to increase G.Hornbill population
Read More

Wild Dog collared to monitor pack

November 2020
Wild dog collared to save pack from persecution
Read More

Zebra foal snare removal

November 2020
Wire snare cut from Zebra's neck
Read More

Two Hyena's saved from snares

October 2020
Wire snares cut from 2 different Hyenas
Read More

Elephant calf released from Snare

October 2020
Wire snare removed from elephant calf's neck
Read More

Black Rhinos given horn implants

September 2020
Black rhinos tagged for security
Read More

Horrific snare removed from Hyena

September 2020
Hyena free'd from snare and branch
Read More

Rhino's darted and moved to safety

August 2020
Veterinary costs sponsored to move Rhinos
Read More

Wild Dog GPS tracking collar sponsored

July 2020
Pack collared to investigate plummeting numbers
Read More

Sponsorship of veterinary equipment

June 2020
RRF sponsors canvas stretchers for veterinary operations
Read More

Honey as a natural anti-biotic

May 2020
Wild Wonderful World partner with Elephants Alive
Read More

Cheetah metapopulation project

April 2020
Safaris and travel may have stopped but important conservation work continues!
Read More

Wild Dog GPS Collar sponsored

March 2020
Wild Dog GPS collar sponsored for EWT research
Read More

Preventing human-wild dog conflict

Feb 2020
A 48 hour effort to dart a pack of 5 wild dogs on surrounding farmland.
Read More