The world is full of love and kindness, and we get to learn a new lesson everyday that goes by. Well, some of us haven’t learned the lesson and use their power to hurt innocent people. Or poor animals.
The story of Pretty Boy will bring tears to your eyes. The poor elephant has been living with a gunshot wound on his forehead for a few weeks. Pretty Boy was shot in June 2016 in Zimbabwe, but this tragedy hasn’t stopped him from being nice.
The big elephant was 25, and all he did was ask for help. Literally.
Vets from Animal and Wildlife Area Research and Rehabilitation Trust (AWARE), a Zimbabwe-based wildlife conservation organization took notice of the case and they went all the way to Mana Pools National Park.
Elephants usually hide when injured. Well, Pretty Boy approached his heroes and asked for help. About 30 minutes after Dr. Keith Dutlow and Dr. Lisa Marabini arrived, Pretty Boy approached their vehicle.
The gentle giant was relaxed and he wasn’t aggressive at all. This made things easier for the vets.
“Pretty Boy was then tranquilized and taken in for an x-ray which showed that there was a deformed bullet lodged inside his head,” AWARE explained. “He was likely shot at several centimeters too high for a “kill shot”, and the bullet glanced off his skull causing a depression fracture of the bones in his sinuses.
The bullet is lodged under his skin some 5 cm away from the wound, but because of the difficulty of taking several Xray angles on a skull that big, it could not be sufficiently triangulated to definitively locate it.”
Dr. Marabini, director of AWARE said that “bullets are usually sterile when they penetrate tissue as they generate so much heat, so if they don’t hit a vital structure they can often be left.” Pretty Boy’s wound was infected, and vets had to “remove the dead pieces of the bone so that the body could continue to heal the infection.”
The veterinarian believes that the shooter was trying to shoot Pretty Boy in the heart. How do they know this? There was a big abscess on the elephant’s shoulder from another gunshot.
“We think he was shot outside the park and came into the park for refuge. Whether it was a poacher or a hunt gone wrong, we can only speculate.”
Pretty Boy had an old scar near his spine. He was shot in that area, too. People were mean to heam, but Pretty Boy was still gentle and friendly.
According to the veterinarian, Pretty Boy “literally emanated serenity,” adding that “there were no aggressive vibes coming from him whatsoever.”
The veterinarians were removing the bullet and noticed grey pus coming out of the wound. It was scary. The wound was cleaned and Pretty Boy was given ultra-long acting antibiotics and parasiticides.
The cutie took a nap for 30 minutes and woke up happy and well-rested.
Yes, it took a lot of time for the wound to heal. Pretty Boy was lucky and he survived the tragedy. The elephant had to undergo a shoulder injury to have his wound fixed.
Poachers hunt elephants down for their ivory. They have been targeting elephants in Mana Pools National park. There are also hunting areas near the park.