Elephant with an old bullet lodged in his head asks humans for help
If there’s a top contender for the most majestic creature out there, it has got to be the elephant. Even though they’re massive in size, these mammals are actually quite friendly, peaceful and they’re also a very intelligent species.
However, just like a lot of other beautiful animal species, their existence is threatened and there’s still a huge poaching problem going on. Even though legislation against poaching has been increasing, there are still plenty of hunters out there killing elephants just for their ivory tusks.
It’s the main reason why elephants are now a vulnerable or sometimes even endangered species.
One day, a group of people actually came across an African elephant in Zimbabwe who had an unfortunate encounter with a poacher.
The poor animal was shot directly in the head and needed urgent help.
Luckily, the people it encountered were veterinarians, and they immediately got to work.
Without hesitation, they jumped out of the car to help out this hurting animal in need.
At first, they didn’t really realize what was exactly going on, but they quickly figured out what happened.
The wound on the poor elephant’s head was completely infected, and it could only have been caused by a large bullet.
There was no exit wound, which meant that the bullet was still inside, very likely embedded into the elephant’s skull. A shot to the head is often fatal – no matter how big you are – but it looks like this elephant’s luck didn’t completely run out.
It was very close, however, just a couple of inches away and this poor animal wouldn’t be able to ask any help.
He was in terrible pain and time was of the essence – the vets needed to help him out right then and there.
Of course, a large elephant approaching like this isn’t exactly the best feeling in the world, and these people must’ve felt a bit threatened.
At first, they thought that the was a bit territorial, but then they saw the large bullet wound and figured that he was simply asking for help.
Elephants are often called very smart animals, and that certainly seems to be the case here as it could distinguish these friendly vets from the poachers.
The first necessary step was to sedate the animal with a very potent tranquilizer, as they couldn’t operate on him while he was awake.
Because of the severity of the injury, the vets needed to make x-rays first to pinpoint the exact location of the bullet and extract it safely.
The positioning of the x-ray machine is particularly tricky on an animal of this size, but the vets at the Aware Trust Zimbabwe animal organization succeeded.
As you can see in the scan, the bullet was completely deformed into the skull of the poor animal and creating tremendous pressure.
The bullet needed to go out as soon as possible. Every minute they waited, the chances of survival went down.
There was only one option left to save time and to save the elephant’s life: operate right there on the spot.
The operation was a lengthy and tough one – but in the end, it went pretty smoothly. The doctors were able to remove the bullet without many complications and saved the elephant’s life.
It still took a while before the elephant actually regained consciousness because of the heavy sedative, but he definitely was in a lot better shape than he was before. The group of rescuers also named him “Pretty Boy” and wanted to keep a close eye on him.
“Pretty Boy the day after treatment looking much happier and eating well,” the animal organization shared along with an updated picture. “We were relieved to find he was also very relaxed around us.”
Pretty Boy was feeling fine after the surgery and walked away into the wild again.
It’s absolutely tragic that poachers would do anything to hurt these animals, but thankfully, there are also people out there who try to help these animals in need.
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