This may be very graphic for sensitive viewers.
Nature can be a very unforgivable place, but people can be worse. These types of people are the ones that give us, who fight for this industry, unnecessary headaches.
At about 7h00 we received the go-ahead to tranquilize our injured elephant, clean out the bullet wounds and inject another dose of anti-biotics. An hour after the dart was fired the work was done. Myself, Tom Barnes, Steve Alexander and Doctor Joao Almeida had each done our respective tasks set by the good doctor himself.
The swelling on the ellies leg had gone down considerably; however, there was still a massive lump at the entry sight of the two bullet holes. The doc feared that the knee joint had shattered and splintered from the impact of the bullets.
The reversal drug was administered and the four of us stepped back as we watched our humble giant try and get back onto his feet. This is where the trouble began.
Half an hour later the elephant was still on his side despite our valiant cheering and encouragement. At this point it was decided that the injured leg was hampering any chances of him getting up. The doc and Steve dodged, dipped, ducked, dived and dodged flaying legs to get ropes around the struggling beast’s legs in order to roll him onto his other side. We quickly rolled him over but the elephant was too weak and lay helpless on his side. Nobody mentioned it but we all knew what had to be done.
It is our job as protectors of this beautiful wilderness to do what is best when it comes to helping animals. What is sickening, is having to clean up the mess left behind by some mindless idiot trying to make a quick buck (pocket of cash). Doctor Almeida conducted a quick autopsy to find out exactly what damage the poachers had caused our gentle giant. Just as doc had thought, the knee joint was shattered with evidence of scar tissue not leaving the elephant with much chances of recovering had he been able to stand.
I am honored to work beside men that hurt when animals hurt. Thank you for all your hard work doc, you could not have done anything differently. In the end the carcass had to be burnt as the m99 tranquilizer made any ingestion of the meat lethal.
The pictures below are not easy on the eyes