Just like in human beings, Mshale the elephant has proved that the will to live is stronger than any attack on life after he refused to succumb to multiple poaching attempts.
The bull elephant was first attacked by poachers in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park in 2012, when he was shot with a poison arrow and narrowly escaped, fleeing with his life. Mshale was nursed back to health at an outpost for orphaned elephants by a veterinarian from the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and continued to visit long after he was healed.
Last March, Mshale was assaulted again by poachers who aimed to slaughter him for his tusks but was rescued by rangers who were patrolling the park by aircraft and noticed the injured elephant from the sky. Once again, a poison arrow was extracted from his skin. “He stood gazing at his human helpers for a few minutes and then with a knowing look he limped back off into the bush,” according to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Believe it or not, in August of 2013, Mshale survived yet another attack and had to have his third poison arrow removed and the wound it left treated. Apparently, after three failed attempts, the poachers decided to up the ante. Director of the trust, Rob Brandford, said about the latest attack last month, “He had two large and deep spear wounds which had to be cleaned. One had passed right through his ear deep into his neck, the other into his back.”
The elephant was treated and sent back into the wild with his companions. Unfortunately, despite four death defying recoveries, Mshale is still in tremendous danger due to the fact that his tusks would provide the poachers with a sixteen thousand dollar profit despite a life lost. Poaching in Africa claims approximately 36,000 elephants per year, and we hope and pray that Mshale is not going to be one of them.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock