Many animals across the world are subjected to extreme cruelty due to humans. Elephants aren’t excluded from the cruel actions of humanity. One elephant, nicknamed Pretty Boy, was found walking around with a gunshot wound on his forehead back in June 2016 in Zimbabwe. The 25-year-old animal was walking around for weeks trying to find help.
Veterinarians from the Animal and Wildlife Area Research and Rehabilitation Trust organization in Zimbabwe heard about the injury and found the animal at the Mana Pools National Park
When injured, elephants typically stay away from other live creatures. Pretty Boy approached the veterinarians’ car first when they arrived to meet him. He showed no signs of aggression and they managed to check his wound.
After being tranquilized, the elephant was taken for an x-ray showing the deformed bullet lodged inside his head. Only a depression fracture was caused to the bones in his sinuses and missed the ‘kill shot’.
The director of AWARE, Dr. Lisa Marabini said that the bullets are sterile when they penetrate the tissue because of the heat they generate. If they don’t hit the vital structure, they can be allowed to stay in the body. However, Pretty Boy’s wound was still infected so they had to remove the dead pieces of the bone. Grey pus was oozing from the wound which was weird for the vets since they’ve never seen it before. After cleaning and flushing the wound, they gave the elephant antibiotics and parasiticides.
After the operation, the elephant dozed off laying his head on a tree for half an hour. Pretty Boy was out of danger and needed some time to heal.
The population of elephants has decreased in large numbers. Centuries ago, there were about 12 million elephants and now their number has decreased to 400,000. Recent years showed that 20,000 elephants were killed in Africa for their tusks. The African forest elephants had the worst impact with a 62% population decrease between 2002-2011. They lost 30% of their geographical range. Compared to them, the African savanna elephants declined by 30% between 2007-2014.
Ivory trade and deforestation as well as habitat destruction have been the main reasons for the fall of the elephant population. The commercial trade of elephant ivory was banned with a global agreement in 1989.