Snared Etosha elephant calf rescued

Wire snares pose a massive problem in Etosha - Namibia’s flagship national park.

01 October 2020 | Environment

FRANCOISE STEYNBERG

WINDHOEK

An elephant calf that was spotted near Namutoni in the Etosha National Park with a wire snare cutting deep into the flesh of its front leg was freed on Tuesday and treated yesterday.

This was after a farmer, Jaco Schutte, spotted the seriously injured elephant on Sunday.

“About three kilometres from the gate at Namutoni, we found three elephant cows with calves, drinking water from a broken waterpipe along the road.

"One of the calves had a snare around the knee of its right leg and it looked terrible and swollen," Schutte wrote on Facebook.

“The snare was definitely there for some time and had started cutting into the calf’s flesh. You could see that the young elephant was in a lot of pain, and its mother was very aggressive.”

Team dispatched

On Tuesday, Schutte told Namibian Sun’s sister publication Republikein that he had reported the incident three times to Etosha officials.

Environment ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda confirmed the incident had been reported to ministry officials.

“A team led by a vet was flown by helicopter over the area where the elephant calf was spotted,” he said on Monday.

By late Tuesday afternoon, Muyunda reported that the calf had been found and would be anesthetised and treated.

Snares

Wire snares in Etosha - Namibia’s flagship national park - pose a massive problem. On 14 September, Beate von Dewitz reported seeing a hyena caught in a snare at the Klein Namutoni waterhole.

Muyunda said these snares are set illegally by visitors.

“It is one of the challenges we are trying to overcome,” he said.

He added another case of an injured rhino was also reported to the ministry.

“The vet treated the rhino and dehorned it as well,” Muyunda said.

He urged visitors to report incidents to the office by calling (067) 229 854.

[email protected]

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