Wildlife officials rescue injured baby elephant in Bundibugyo
A three-month elephant has been rescued in Kanala-Ntoroko Village in Semuliki National Game Park in Bundibugyo District. This comes barely a year after a two-month elephant was rescued from an island in Humukungu Fishing Village near Queen Elizabeth National Park.
The elephant, named Keith Semuliki, was found with a deep cut near its right eye. “Elephants move in groups. The mother elephant could have been killed by poachers and the group scattered, leaving the baby elephant near communities,” Dr Noel Arinteireho, the Uganda Wildlife Educational Centre (UWEC) veterinary officer, said.
Dr Arinteireho said the animal was first recovered by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) officials who took it to Semuliki game park to identify its group but ended up getting lost.
Mr Keith Semuliki, the owner of Semuliki Safari Lodge, said he found the baby elephant while he was taking guests around the park.
Mr Semuliki said he took the animal to his lodge where he constructed a temporary enclosure in his garage, covered with dry grass and nursed the baby’s wounds before calling UWA and UWEC officials.
Mr Arinteireho said they found the elephant dehydrated with excruciating pain emerging from the deep cut it had sustained. He said: “We have now given him intravenous fluids, rice soup and milk.”
The elephant weighs about 90 kilogrammes which is too low. A normal baby elephants weighs 120 kilogrammes. However, Mr Bruce Tumwesigye, the care taker of the animal, says Semuliki is now recovering steadily. “He is playful and jolly although he can hit you with his head if you disturb him,” he said.
Ms Belinda Atim, the UWEC spokesperson, urged individuals and corporate organisations to raise funds for the baby elephant because it is too expensive to feed. She said they would integrate Semuliki with the older elephants because elephants normally want to leave in groups.
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