MAY 10, 2017 08:03 AM PDT

A trunk miracle


Two months ago, a young calf named Enkesha suffered a life-threatening injury when she was caught in a poacher's snare in Maasai Mara in Kenya. Her trunk was almost completely severed and it was uncertain whether she would survive. But thanks to some dedicated Kenya Wildlife Service veterinarians who performed a three-hour urgent surgery to reconstruct her trunk, the one year old elephant escaped from death's clutches.

The surgery was the first of its kind and was such a success that Enkesha is now able to use her trunk to pick up twigs, and is learning how to throw dust over herself. She is currently being cared for at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust's Elephant Orphanage. An employee there, Rob Brandford, said, "She has surprised everyone. Her condition was extremely serious." DSWT chief executive Angela Sheldrick agreed: "Enkesha was spotted with a snare tightly wound around her trunk. She was in severe pain. The mobile vet unit darted the baby and removed the snare using wire cutters. They found her trunk had nearly been severed with just a small portion attached."

Unfortunately, this kind of violence is not uncommon in the Maasai Mara, where poachers set snares and actively hunt elephants and other wildlife. Charlie Mayhew of Tusk, the conservation charity supported by Prince William, said: "This story contrasts the horror of the all too frequent indiscriminate snaring by poachers in Africa."
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
NOV 11, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 11, 2019
Will Aerogel Help Us Colonize Mars?
As the interest in colonizing Mars grows, researchers are scrambling to find miracle materials that might help with this long-term goal. In addition to shi...
NOV 11, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 11, 2019
Watch a Young Chimpanzee Fall in Love With a Spy Tortoise
Animals can be wary of human presence in their natural habitat, so much so that they’ll often flee the scene, preventing scientists from gathering da...
NOV 11, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 11, 2019
NASA Unveils New Space Suits for the Artemis Program
NASA’s Artemis program promises to revolutionize deep space travel in ways that many never thought imaginable. One of the most significant things Art...
NOV 11, 2019
Cardiology
NOV 11, 2019
Diagnosed With Atopic Dermatitis?
Eczema, dermatitis, atopic dermatitis: all names for the same disease of the skin. Although common in children during the first year of life, the condition...
NOV 11, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 11, 2019
Mars 2020 Rover Carries Full Weight on Wheels for First Time
NASA has been working on an advanced successor to the Martian Curiosity rover for quite some time. Dubbed the Mars 2020 rover, the upgraded SUV-sized auton...
NOV 11, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 11, 2019
Could the Successful Juno Mission See an Extension Beyond 2021?
The Juno mission, launched by NASA in 2011 to explore the fascinating Jovian system, finally arrived at its destination in 2016. Since then, the spacecraft...
Loading Comments...