Alarm as biggest and oldest elephant in Kenya is attacked

Thursday June 23 2016

Elephants in the Amboseli National Park. PHOTO | JAN FOZ | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Elephants in the Amboseli National Park. PHOTO | JAN FOZ | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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The Amboseli National Park community has raised concern over the plight of Kenya’s biggest and oldest elephant after it was attacked on the forehead with a spear.

The elephant, fondly know as Tim, was found by conservationist David Bates and his team with a spear stuck in its head after it sauntered near their camp last week.

“As I was counting buffalo calves in one of our sanctuaries, a ranger told me that one of our signature bull elephants was moving quickly towards us. Indeed, it was Tim,” said Mr Bates.

He said: “I was excited to see him. But then, as he drew closer to us, we realised that something was wrong. Protruding from his head was a spear, and on his forehead was a huge bleeding wound. It appears it was hit with a large rock”.

Mr Bates told the Nation that Tim could have been injured in a conflict with local farmers.

He said his greatest concern at that moment was the possibility that the spear was poisoned. He immediately reached for his radio and contacted the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) emergency centre.

Mr Bates said they pursued Tim across the bushes, keeping track of its location until the KWS veterinarian arrived. He said because it was dark, they had to wait until the following day, June 17, before they could find and treat the elephant.