While poachers have been going after the rare pangolin most often in the past decade, elephants are still a major source of profit for the illegal hunters. Recently, a criminal with a gun near the Mana Pools national park shot a bull elephant in the forehead aiming to kill.
The elephant is thought to be 25-years-old and was severely injured (pictures below). The poachers in Zimbabwe thankfully were not able to take the bull elephant down as he charged them and scared them away after their shot failed to murder him.
The male elephant was later found with the bullet hole in his head by compassionate rescuers. It was just a mere five centimeters or about 2 inches above the spot in his head that is a certain “killshot”, veterinarians say.
The rescuers who came across the injured animal, think the elephant escaped the poachers and ran into the Mana Pools national park for treatment.
The elephant approached the veterinarians for treatment. He understood that he was gravely injured and needed the help of the humans.
X-rays revealed how the bullet entered the elephant’s head and traveled along the skull and through the skin until it became lodged in place.
In order to properly treat the male elephant, park vets had to remove shattered broken skull fragments from underneath the animal’s skin. After that he did receive treatment.
In order to find the bullet, veterinarians used a portable x-ray machine and a metal detector. The bullet was lodged deep in the elephant’s head.
The 25-year-old elephant is named Pretty Boy. He was found in the national park in northern Zimbabwe.
Vets from the Aware Trust were there to help Pretty Boy recover from the bullet wound to the head. While it is usually a race against time to save injured wild animals, the “gentle” bull elephant made himself known and did not resist the caring humans who wanted to help.
“It’s like it knew we were there with the intention of helping it. We think it was shot outside the park and came inside for refuge,” Dr. Lisa Marabini told the BBC.
Usually, it takes a lot of time for the Trust to find the animals after they are injured.
“Not so on 13 June – when Pretty Boy heard they’d arrived in Mana Pools he made himself available for examination within half an hour, coming right up to their car,” a spokesperson for the Aware Trust staed. “An extremely gentle and relaxed bull, the vets managed to get a good look at what immediately became apparent was a hole going into his forehead.”
Vets tranquilized the elephant and searched him for the bullet. They struggled to use the X-ray because the elephant’s skull is so big. This made it hard to find the exact location of the bullet.
After the tranquilizer dart, an entire crew of park rangers and vets moved in to treat Pretty Boy.
The elephant is expected to make a full recovery. A spokesperson for the trust stated:
“Pretty Boy was given ultra-long acting anti-biotics and parasiticides. The vets were worried his weak back might interfere with him getting to his feet after reversal, but he recovered uneventfully and then lay his head against a tree and dozed for half an hour. The following day he was feeling much happier and very relaxed, and allowed Stretch, Keith and Lisa (the vets) to get very close to him for a final assessment.”
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