Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Baby Elephant saved in Murchison Falls National Park

Elephant Struggling to Stand

On the 12th of February 2013, our three clients, the guide and I saved a young elephant which had been trapped in a wire snare and was in deep pain in Murchison Falls National park. We had woken up early for the morning game drive and everything had been going on so well till we met a young elephant which had been sitting and not feeding. 

A big snare in the Elephant
One of our clients, Carlos Gereda asked me if I thought it was sick/dead or may be dying at that moment. The driver guide Kiganda Ismail told him that it could just be resting. However, out of curiosity the other clients, Daniella and Manuel insisted and said it was very strange for an elephant to just sit down while the others were feeding. It is at this moment that we drove closer to the elephant which could barely stand up because of the pain it was in. As we moved closer to him, he eventually struggled and stood up and at this point, we saw what had caused everything. A big wire snare around the head and it had already cut it (see picture). We all burst in tears and right away started making calls for UWA to come in and save the elephant. What we expected was a place of peace for these animals has eventually turned into a war zone because the following day after the sad and horrible scene, UWA managed to collect 285 wire snares along the delta as we were informed by Patrick Agaba from Uganda Conservation Foundation. Also from the head office of UWA in Kampala Mr. Raymond Engena was so kind sending an apology for what happened and saying that UWA is trying to improve on the situation of poaching. On the following days he also told us that the UWA veterinary Mr. Enyel managed to remove the snare from the baby elephant and the animal is expected to recover from this accident. Fortunately this elephant was saved! By Allen Natukunda
UWA Ranger guides with snares collected from the Park

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