New Delhi: It is supremely heart-wrenching to see animals in pain and completely helpless. Imagine how distressing it would be if an animal came up to you on its own, asking for help?
This is what happened in Zimbabwe, when a full-grown bull elephant came up till the staff houses of a safari lodge and surprised the guests and workers there.
The poor elephant had been shot by poachers, with two bullet holes piercing his left ear and a septic wound on his shoulder.
Desperate for help, the elephant reached the safari lodge. The huge animal – which has since been named Ben – was dehydrated and limping badly
Although the bullet holes in Ben's ear were old, the wound on his shoulder was quite worrying.
As luck would have it, the foundation's conservation mamager was not available, so eventually, a vet was arranged to help out.
Dr Richard Hoare flew all the way from Harare to administer much-needed treatment to the animal.
The vet and the foundation team, of the Bumi Hills Foundation, worked together to help by first tranquilizing the elephant and then, cleaning out the wound.
A VHF tracking device was also attached to the animal in order to follow its progress.
As per the Independent reports, Nick Milne, Trust Manager of the foundation, said, "The nature and cause of the wound has left us all very puzzled. It is a large entry hole, approximately 4cm in diameter, perfectly round and smooth and extends approximately 10cm downwards into his shoulder joint and there are no other wounds visible on the animal at all.
"The wound itself was approximately a month old but again this is difficult to tell exactly. The nature of the wound suggests that if caused by a bullet it was fired from an elevated position down onto the animal, not a commonly used method of shooting an animal but with our rugged terrain quite possible.
"The fact that no other wounds were visible it is impossible for the bullet head to have exited the animal but nothing was picked up on the highly sensitive metal detector.”
The elephant, believed to be in his thirties, is being watched with a keen eye by the foundation team to monitor his progress. As of now, his wound and mobility seem to show a slight improvement, however, Ben is still in a lot of pain.
The Bumi Hills Foundation has since launched the #helpben campaign to try and raise funds to cover the cost of the elephant’s ongoing treatment.