A SEARCH that involved the use of a helicopter was launched in the Etosha National Park for an elephant calf that was seen with a wire snare deeply embedded in its flesh.
The spokesperson of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Romeo Muyunda, said officials were alerted to the plight of the injured calf earlier on Monday.
He added that the officials made use of a helicopter to look for the injured and distressed animal, but did not find the specific calf during their search.
“Our officials in the Etosha National Park received the report of the elephant calf with a wire snare around its leg calf on Monday and upon further investigation found that the animal was photographed by a visitor to the park on Saturday already. This means that the herd has moved away from the place where the distressed calf was last seen and makes the search much more difficult,” he said.
Muyunda said that a team of officials, led by a veterinarian, was dispatched with a helicopter and flew over the area where the injured animal was last seen.
According to Muyunda, the team flew over three elephant herds to find the calf with what seems like a wire snare around its leg.
The team however, did not have any success.
“One calf was observed limping with scratches on its leg but it did not have the wire around its leg. We suspect that the wire might have fallen off. We are, however, still on a look out in case we may have missed the actual injured calf,” he said.
Muyunda urged visitors to the national park that come across the injured elephant calf to contact the game warden’s office in Etosha at 067 229 854.
He said that when people observe an injured animal they should report such incidents to the MEFT officials without delay in order for officials to attend to the problem in a timely fashion.
According to Muyunda, visitors to the park also reported an injured rhino to MEFT officials in the park over the weekend.
In this case, the veterinarian was able to respond quickly to treat the injured animal.
Muyunda mentioned that the rhino was dehorned in the process to protect it from poachers.