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Wildlife rescue - Snare removal

Snare removal on an Elephant bull

September 26th, 2017

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At 5pm last Tuesday, we received a call from Professional Guide Roy Alywood to say that a snared elephant had been sighted.

The sun was already low on the horizon so Stephanie and I raced there in record time.


I wouldn't normally dart an elephant close to sunset but I had to take a chance because we probably wouldn't get another opportunity to save this elephant.

As a matter of fact, this snared elephant was first seen near Khatshana Lodge on the edge of Hwange National Park on Saturday 26th August 2017. Since then all the safari guides and operators in this area have been looking for this elephant but it couldn't be found until Tuesday afternoon when it was sighted in the area.


We responded immediately and arrived on the scene where we met Roy and also Mr. Jealous Mpofu of the Painted Dog Conservation Project. With Roy as a safety back up and Jealous who also is a great tracker, we went and I darted the elephant.


Everything went well with this immobilization. The snare was removed and the wound was cleaned with Chlorhexidine and Betadine and treated with Woundine Topical Antiseptic, EXIT Wound Remedy (to prevent flies and screw worm) and special Swavet Wound Powder (to dry the wound and promote healing). We also gave the elephant an injection of Norocillin Long-acting antibiotics.


Once the reversal drug administered, in less than 2-minutes the elephant stood up and started to walk away.


It was an extremely rewarding experience for everyone involved when this terrible snare was finally removed and we were able to watch the elephant get up and carefully inspect the work we had done on his wound before slowly wandering off on his road to recovery.

1- Dart in
1- Dart in
2- Snare on rear left leg
2- Snare on rear left leg
3- Snare wire visible
3- Snare wire visible
4- Cutting the snare
4- Cutting the snare
5- Pre-treatment
5- Pre-treatment
6- Remove mud and wash wound
6- Remove mud and wash wound
7- Chlorehexidine to clean wound
7- Chlorehexidine to clean wound
8- Woundine topical antiseptic
8- Woundine topical antiseptic
9- Swavet wound powder
9- Swavet wound powder
10-Norocillin antibiotic injection
10-Norocillin antibiotic injection
11- Administer reversal drug
11- Administer reversal drug
12- Elephant waking up
12- Elephant waking up
13- Elephant standing
13- Elephant standing
14- Wire snare removed
14- Wire snare removed
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