Mysterious infection that led to the death of UC-Drape Ears

Fri, 2009-10-16 09:44 by bntawuasa
UC Drape Ears, 2 days before his death Swollen feet Infected penis

Up-Curved Drape Ears (Codename M0183) born in 1961 was a well known bull elephant and among the oldest currently in the Amboseli National Park. He acquired the name from his physical features—upwards curved tusks and drape like ears. Only a few Elephants are named for this reason, like a 24 years old male called Pigtail, who escaped narrowly from Hyenas by missing his tail.

Just like Kalume, we can't specify what really led to his death but prior to that he looked skinny, his feet swollen and what appeared to be a penile infection [See the image gallery]. He wasn't moving a lot either, because of the swollen feet only staying close to a nearby Maasai borehole during the day and moving in for a drink at night. According to the local herds' boys, he was not feeding much but spent most of his time under a shade, dust-bathing.

He was found dead in the morning of 12th Oct right next to the Maasai borehole, after he came in at night. On close observation after he died, his penile infection appeared to be worse than we thought. It really baffled everyone at the site.

UC Drape Ears

Fri, 2009-10-16 20:57 by Donna

This must have been a very painful death. How would he get a penile infection, I wonder. He must have had a wound there. Sure is sad. He was only 48. He had many good breeding years to go had he lived.


Fri, 2009-10-16 16:02 by suji

Hi Robert,

I am really sorry to hear this. Is non-interference the right thing to do? Afterall all said and done the poachers do interfere and kill off both males and females, so there is human interference for sure. So why can't some medical treatment be given to such suffering pachyderms. It must be hard to watch them suffer and die especially when your team knows them personally.

When Echo couldn't get up, couldn't some help have been given to raise her up. Again, poachers did kill members of her family and thus interfere, so why not a helping hand?

Just wondering...

Wound Treatment

Fri, 2009-10-16 22:16 by msowers


The project's policy in general is that veterinary care is provided if possible to elephants that have been wounded by humans. So vets may be called in from Nairobi to attempt to treat elephants with spear or bullet wounds, etc. Illnesses, however, are a natural part of elephants' lives, and the project attempts to accurately observe and record the course of an elephant's life. This means that even if it is difficult to watch, sickness is often left to run its course. Additionally, there are not facilities in Amboseli to do blood tests, etc., so it is often unknown what is ailing an elephant.

In Echo's particular case, since she was so old and weak that she could not raise herself, it likely would have just caused her even more distress to be disturbed and pulled at to make her stand only to go back down immediately from weakness.


Drape Ears

Sun, 2010-02-28 00:43 by Espresso

Wow. That should of hurt and a pain to walk on and that would be a pain in the butt for his penile infection. So Sad.
Rest in peace Drape Ears.

Drape Ears

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