A giraffe was rescued after getting a car tyre trapped over its neck in Haller Park, Mombasa, Kenya this week.
It’s not known how the animal ended up in this situation but the outer part of a wheel had been around her neck for long enough for it to cause a wound.
Rob Brandford, Executive Director from the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, said: ‘We are not aware of any prior incidents of giraffes being treated for injuries caused by tyres, although our SWT/KWS teams have treated 95 giraffe to date for snare injuries. But we believe this tyre was discarded as rubbish and was not used as a trap.
A giraffe has been rescued after getting a car tyre trapped over its neck in Haller Park, Mombasa, Kenya this week
‘Giraffes are one of the more difficult species to anaesthetise and it requires a whole team working nimbly and quickly, tackling several hurdles before the treatment even begins.
The giraffe was approached on foot and darted with a specially prepared anaesthetic for a mammal her size.
Rob added: ‘Teams from the Sheldrick Trust and Kenya Wildlife Service then used ropes to gently guide her down to the ground so that she did not injure herself, including her delicately long neck, since trauma or malposition could be fatal. Once on the ground, the anaesthetic was reversed and team members manually restrained her.
‘This is because giraffes can’t be under anaesthetic for long since, among other reasons, anaesthesia alters a giraffe’s ability to pump blood around its massive body. So, the minute a giraffe is safely down on the ground, the anaesthetic is reversed and the giraffe is manually restrained.’
The animal was approached on foot and darted with a specially prepared anaesthetic for a mammal her size
The team then cut away the tyre and thoroughly cleaned the wound, disinfected it and coated it with antibiotic spray and green clay – a natural substance that aids healing.
She was also administered with long-acting antibiotics and anti-inflammatories before being able to walk away.
He said: ‘As the giraffe had a positive prognosis for a complete recovery, it was not necessary to monitor her or provide any follow up treatment.
‘We can say for certainty that she must be much relieved following the removal of the troublesome tyre, which would have been causing her pain and considerable discomfort.’
It’s not known how the animal ended up in this situation but the outer part of a wheel had been around her neck for long enough for it to cause a wound
Earlier in the week, the country’s only female white giraffe and her calf were killed by poachers in a major blow for the rare animals found nowhere else in the world.
The bodies of the two giraffes were found ‘in a skeletal state after being killed by armed poachers’ in Garissa in eastern Kenya, the Ishaqbini Hirola Community Conservancy said in a statement.
Their deaths leave just one remaining white giraffe alive – a lone male, borne by the same slaughtered female, the conservancy said.
‘This is a very sad day for the community of Ijara and Kenya as a whole,’ said Mohammed Ahmednoor, the manager of the conservancy. We are the only community in the world who are custodians of the white giraffe.
The team cut away the tyre and thoroughly cleaned the wound, disinfected it and coated it with antibiotic spray and green clay – a natural substance that aids healing
‘Its killing is a blow to tremendous steps taken by the community to conserve rare and unique species, and a wakeup call for continued support to conservation efforts.’
Ahmednoor added that the deaths were a blow to the tourism and research industries in a remote corner of Kenya.
He explained: ‘This is a long-term loss given that genetics studies and research which were significant investment into the area by researchers has now gone to the drain. Further to this the white giraffe was a big boost to tourism in the area.’
The white giraffe stirred huge interest in 2017 when she was first spotted on the conservancy and again when she birthed two calves, the latest in August last year.
Their alabaster colour is caused not by albinism but a condition known as leucism. The condition means they continue to produce dark pigment in their soft tissue, giving them dark eyes.
Earlier in the week, the country’s only female white giraffe and her calf were killed by poachers in a major blow for the rare animals found nowhere else in the world (a female white giraffe and her calf pictured in May 2017)