Upon Arrival at the DSWT Nursery: On Day 2 after arrival baby elephant surgery was performed. A team of three veterinarians in a “three hour operation” worked to completely reattach Enkesha’s dangling trunk.
Almost immediately afterward, despite her grogginess from the sedation during surgery, the curious little elephant began to undo the “painstaking stitching” that held her trunk back in place. What with “the constant contracting, expanding, wiggling and squirming” is it any wonder that the elephant calf’s known 40,000 trunk muscles were working overtime to regain their dominant & their useful place?
And so the dilemma began. Another operation was deemed too risky as the baby elephant “had already had two in quick succession” and “the revival drug was still in her system”. Being sedated a third time could have meant she “would never have been able to be brought round again”.
Amputation of Enkesha’s little trunk was considered once again. But because of the importance of an elephant’s trunk, (especially its tip, which an elephant uses to “pick up its food,” akin to a human hand) the chance of survival for a wild elephant without its trunk is slim. Therefore, amputation was “ruled out”.
What Makes This Sweet Elephant Unique: Watch little Enkesha’s Rescue Video Despite her injury she swings her trunk round and round! She is especially joyful playing in her mud bath, even once (see Keeper’s Diary entry of 10/17/2018) “reluctant to leave her new-found mud wallow” when called for lunch as it was baby elephant bottle feeding time!
Ongoing Medical Treatment: Although The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust team doesn’t “anticipate” Enkesha’s trunk wound to heal entirely they are thankful that it is “amazingly, healing well”. The “original gaping hole” has closed some and “at least part of it has knitted together again”. The baby elephant needs ongoing attention to ensure she remains “happy and engaged” to give Enkesha’s little elephant body additional time to heal.
How Baby Elephant is Adjusting to New Elephant Family at DSWT: Despite Enkesha’s separation from her wild elephant family, through the “cruel twist of fate” she found herself in (her trunk becoming trapped in a poacher’s snare) Enkesha finds her happiness interacting with other elephant orphans & with her DSWT Keeper, especially at suppertime.
Baby Elephant’s Personality Traits: Playful (Enkesha can lose herself at playtime, dreaming the day away, especially in a mud hole!) & curious / determined enough to undo all of the sutures from the surgery (immediately after the operation) on her little trunk.
For Complete Story see Enkesha’s Orphan Profile:
Her Keeper’s Diary includes updates on Enkesha and her other sweet elephant friends
Watch YouTube Video: Baby Enkesha is Rescued
Note: Any quotes not linked / credited above can be found in this baby elephant’s orphan profile, Enkesha, at DSWT.
Credit: public domain drawing of baby elephant
To learn more about The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s ( DSWT ) Fostering Program and how to Adopt Enkesha click here then “select an orphan” ENKESHA
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on YouTube dswtkenya
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust on Facebook @SheldrickTrust
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