Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe is a world heritage site where you can witness a variety of wildlife from a safe distance.
Hippos, crocodiles, elephants, lions and buffalo – all go here to enjoy the peaceful oasis of rivers, islands, sand banks and dams of the area.
But one day the park’s rangers made a rare discovery. An elephant was staggering around the park and behaving very strangely. Clearly, something was wrong.
After observing the elephant for some time, the park attendants realized that there was something strange with his head.
That’s when they saw the horror: right in the middle of his forehead was a bullet hole.
The elephant had been chased and eventually shot by poachers who sought out his valuable ivory.
But the elephant had managed to flee into the park.
Park guards contacted veterinarians Keith Dutlov and Lisa Marabini and explained that they had a wounded elephant on their hands.
The vets were soon on scene. They took great care in preparing the elephant for the process that would follow. Within just 30 minutes, the elephant was ready to be checked.
He seemed to trust them, as if realizing that they were there to help rid him of his pain.
The vets went into action, and fired a tranquilizing dart into his leg.
When the elephant was asleep, Gray began to examine the bullet hole.
“The vets had never seen anything like it,” writes Aware Trust Zimbabwe on Facebook.
They removed necrotic fragments of bone, then disinfected and cleaned the wound.
The elephant also received long-acting antibiotics.
Via X-rays, they could see that the elephant had had incredible luck.
If the bullet had hit just a few centimeters lower, he’d probably have died.
When the elephant woke up after the surgery, he had severe headaches. He was seen pressing his head against a tree – but soon managed to fall asleep and get some rest.
“Our hearts were almost crushed,” writes Aware Trust Zimbabwe on Facebook.
Fortunately, the elephant was feeling much better the next day.
He appeared happy and relaxed, thanks to these animal friends’ wonderful rescue operation. Now, in the national park, he can be at a safe distance from poachers.
By sharing this article we can spread awareness about elephants’ precarious situation.
Poaching has to end – once and for all!