By Mark Hodge @mrhodgey
Scroll down for the full story
Videographer / Director: THE DSWT
Producer: Mark Hodge, Chloe Browne
Editor: Sonia Estal
This dramatic footage shows medics from the DSWT/ KWS Tsavo Mobile Veterinary Unit in Taita Hills Sanctuary, Kenya, treating a one-year-old calf whose leg has been severed to the bone.
The vets cleaned the wound and applied a protective green clay which is used to assist healing and prevent further infection.
In March 2015, three weeks after being treated, the elephant's condition had deteriorated prompting the team to fly the animal 350 km to an orphanage in Nairobi National Park.
Rob Brandford, Executive Director of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust's UK charity, insists that without their intervention the calf, named Mwashoti, would have died.
He said: “Mwashoti’s condition was extremely serious. Suffering from a man-made injury, he was found with a snare tightly wound around his foot.
“This had nearly severed his foot and though he was protected by his mother and herd, he was in severe pain and unable to walk far – which the pair needed to do to find food and water.
“Without our help, it’s likely he would have fallen behind and at some point, his mother would have had to make the tough choice to abandon her baby to ensure her own survival.
“It became evident if the baby was going to have any chance of survival, he needed to be rescued, and undergo intensive daily treatment for his now heavily infected injury.”
At the nursery in Nairobi, the vulnerable baby elephant received round the clock care and treatment, including emotional support, specialist formula and blankets to keep him warm.
And Rob is hopeful that Mwashoti will one day be able to return to the wild.
He said: “We strongly believe he has a wild life ahead of him.
“Mwashoti’s wound continues to heal - miraculously he is currently walking out and about with the other orphans in the Nairobi Forest and we think his horrendous wound should fully heal.”