Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The saving of Kitakha

In April this year I introduced myself to Sheldricks elephant orphanage. They were kind enough to allow me to help with their veterinary needs. I diagnosed a pancreatic enzyme deficiency in their baby elephant Kitakha whom was on the verge of death when I arrived there. Pancreatic enzymes predigest the food so it can be absorbed into the intestine. By pure chance (I believe divine intervention) I walked in to a health food store in Nairobi. There I found 4 bottles of pancreatic enzymes in the shelf (the only 4 bottles in Kenya). We added the pills to the milk and Kitakha had an immediate response and was full of energy and life. On visiting Sheldricks this November and bringing them diagnostic equipment they desperately needed that included a digital x-ray machine and in house blood diagnostic machines, it was so nice to see Kitakha. In fact the baby ran out of the herd and came directly to greet me. We spent many hours playing and re bonding as he recognized me. Sheldricks has added the pancreatic enzymes to all baby milk and there has been a tremendous increase in survivability of these baby elephants due to this. Today Kitakha is a fat extremely naughty little boy of one year old but is very stunted in growth due to his nutritional deficiency when younger. He is in fact the leader of his herd and often sneaks down to the mud hole with his partners in crime when he is not supposed to be there. God love him as we do.
This veterinary discovery has increased the survivability of very young elephants at Sheldricks by 70%