Fishan, one of the older male bulls of the Jabulani elephant herd, has hurt his left front leg, whilst feeding in a nearby river. Tigere, one of our elephant managers at Jabulani, stayed with him during the process of returning back to the stables, and shared a full update with us about what happened.
Fishan managed to hurt his leg by accidentally stepping into a hole that he did not see, due to it being beneath a puddle of water that the herd was wading in. It was difficult for this large elephant to walk back to the stables, as he had to lean on the painful leg to walk. So, we had to take a very slow and patient walk with him, knowing that we would then sleep in the bush that night with him, as he could only walk a short distance. Tigere decided it should be he that should stay with Fishan.
Our team at Jabulani brought everything they needed to be comfortable for the night, including food, water, and anti-inflammatory medication, as prescribed by wildlife vet, Dr Rogers. Tigere checked on him every hour, to make sure he was okay.
The following day they set off again, as Fishan had gained his strength, and was eager to get back to the stables. They started off very early, before the sun became too hot. They managed to move 300Meter’s before he needed to rest again. This went on over the course of the day, but with consistent water and food supplies being brought to them along the way, and a lot of encouragement from the carers. He knew where he wanted to get to, and responded well to our words of motivation.
When we finally reached the stables, 36Hours later, Fishan lay down to rest, to take the pressure of his leg, knowing he was home, and safe. Food did not interest him at that stage, he just wanted to rest.
The rest of the herd soon returned from their day out in the bush, and it was quite emotional to hear the rumbling that started to take place as they neared, sensing Fishan was back.
Bubi ,whom Fishan shares his stable with, came up to him gently and started touching his leg, knowing straight away where he had been injured. It was a very touching moment.
After he had settled for a bit, we gave him some more anti-inflammatories, and started with hydrotherapy to help him with his pain.
By the next morning, Fishan was a lot better and doing well, drinking lots of water, and had a healthy appetite, which is always a positive sign. Dr. Rogers assessed him, and advised good rest is necessary for him to heal properly. Each day he gets stronger, and the hydrotherapy is really helping his healing process. Dr Johan Marais is on standby to do x-rays, if we don’t see continual improvement over the next week.
For now Fishan has to take it easy, and soak up all the extra attention he is getting.
We will keep you up to date with his progress.