A bull elephant which was supposedly shot by poachers limped all the way to a lodge on Lake Kariba and is now undergoing treatments.
Nick Milne, the trust manager at the Bumi Hills Foundation, told News24 that the wounded elephant called Ben, walked up a steep ridge to the Bumi Hills Safari Lodge.
The Bumi Hills Foundation said the 30-year old elephant had two bullet holes through his left ear as well as a septic wound on his left shoulder
“Logic would suggest that if an animal has an injury that considerably hampers its mobility, it would not attempt the climb and would rather stay on the level ground near water,” Milne said.
Due to the Bumi Hills Safari Lodge’s conservation manager being away on business, a wildlife veterinarian had to be flown in from Harare to treat Ben the elephant.
“The dart went into his rump perfectly and he only moved off a short distance in the seven minutes before he went down. He also landed perfectly on his haunches with his right side up a slope, the perfect position considering we needed to work on his left side.”
After managing the elephants wounds, the vet fitted a tracking collar on the elephant to prevent future mishaps with poachers.
The wounded elephant will be under close observation to ensure he recovers fully. The wildlife health practitioners also have plans to dart him again in two weeks.
Elephant poaching is reaching alarming levels despite the global clampdown on ivory poaching. This week five elephants in Zimbabwe were victims of cyanide poisoning.
Last month Kenya burnt the largest stockpile of ivory ever yet it has done little to curb the poaching of elephants or even the African rhinos which are on the verge of extinction.