Mana Pools National Park, in Zimbabwe, Africa is a UNESCO world heritage site and conservation area teeming with awe-inspiring wildlife from hippos to crocodiles and over 300 different species of birds.
It’s manned by a team of people that ensure their animals are happy and healthy in this oasis, particularly as its home to many endangered species.
So when a team of vets got a call out to an injured elephant they jumped in their truck immediately to assist. Little did they know that the elephant would approach them so calmly with such a shocking injury.
After a closer inspection of this beautiful creature they spotted what looked like a hole in its head. The elephant, who they named “Pretty Boy,” had been shot several weeks previously and had been walking around with the bullet lodged in his head.
Vets Keith Dutlov and Lisa Marabini went out to search for injured pretty boy as soon as they got the call expecting to spend more time looking for it than treating him.
But to the surprise of the animal heroes Pretty Boy came right out to the truck, strolling very calmly, as if he was asking for help.
“He made himself available for examination within half an hour, coming right up to their car,” vets from AWARE Trust Zimbabwe wrote on Facebook.
“An X-ray was taken of Pretty Boy’s skull which – in the vets’ opinion – confirms the presence of a deformed bullet. He was likely shot at several centimeters too high for a “kill shot”, and the bullet glanced off his skull causing a depression fracture of the bones in his sinuses,” according to the post.
The bullet had hit him in the head and then lodged itself almost two inches away from the wound.
The head wound had become infected and they described a “gray pus” seeping out of the wound, “the likes of which they’d never seen before,” the post said.
They removed fragments of the bone, disinfected and cleaned the wound and gave Pretty Boy plenty of antibiotics.
The X-ray showed that Pretty Boy had had a lucky escape; the bullet was less than an inch away from killing him.
On a closer inspection it was clear this beautiful creature had been shot before and vets believed he was probably shot outside the park and came in for refuge. They couldn’t believe how calm and gentle he was toward the people helping him, considering the human cruelty he had endured.
When the elephant woke up after surgery, he was happy to find a spot next to a tree and nap.
Fortunately, Pretty Boy felt much better the following day.
He was once again happy and relaxed, thanks to the wonderful rescue efforts of the animal heroes, and in the national park he can now be safely monitored away from these mindless hunters.
You can find out more about this incredible rescue organization and Zimbabwe’s only veterinary conservation trust here.
Elephants are majestic and incredible creatures; this hunting has to stop! Please share this article to help raise awareness.