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.
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