Elephants are amazing and very intelligent creatures! One day when poachers shot the elephant, the animal came to people not for revenge, but to ask for help, showing the highest degree of trust in humans.
Nowadays, poaching and the illegal trade in ivory remain the main enemy of African elephants. Each year about 30,000 animals are killed by poachers on the continent. Although an international ban on the shooting of elephants was enacted in 1989, the elephant ivory market thrives and threatens the gradual extinction of our planet's largest animals.
This elephant from Zimbabwe was lucky to survive an encounter with poachers. The criminals shot the animal in the forehead, but the bullet lodged in its skull without causing serious damage. The wound might have healed over time, but it got infected.
The exhausted elephant came to humans, hoping that they would save him. At first the forest rangers did not understand why the elephant was walking purposefully toward them, and kept some distance from the animal. But when he came closer, it was clear: he was asking for help!
A team of vets was called to the scene and sedated the elephant with a tranquilizer dart. A portable X-ray machine helped the specialists assess the situation.
The x-ray showed the bullet lodged in the bone.
The wound was shallow, but it was suppurating badly, and the elephant was about to become septic. In such situations time is the worst enemy, so it was decided not to take the animal to the hospital, and to operate it on the spot.
One of the most difficult things was to remove the bullet, firmly lodged in the bone. When the bullet was removed, the wound was disinfected and stitched up. The vets waited until the elephant woke up to make sure the animal was okay.
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After the anesthesia, the elephant staggered slightly. To stand up straight, the poor thing had to lean on a tree. But soon he was walking more confidently. The elephant, named Pretty Boy, is fine now. He will be closely monitored by rangers, who will do everything to prevent Pretty Boy from crossing paths with poachers again.
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