A seriously injured lioness was just saved in a dramatic rescue that took place on April 4 at Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, according to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT).
The horn of a buffalo bull had gored the 11-year-old lioness, named Siena, who recently gave birth to three cubs.
Photos: Dollar Value of Hunted African Animals
Staff from the DSWT contacted Kenyan Wildlife Service veterinarian Dr. Njoroge from Nairobi. He and his team arrived via a small plane. An account posted on the DSWT website explains what happened next:
Treatment started at 3:50 pm after the lioness was successfully darted. Moments after she was tranquilized, a sub-adult lioness promptly sauntered up to Siena, who was still standing, and effectively removed the dart as if she was trained to do so. Thankfully the drugs had already taken effect and Siena safely lay asleep for her treatment whilst the rest of the pride was kept at bay. The wound was extensive and involved the soft tissues and the skin. The vet cleaned the wound using normal saline and then sutured it closed.
The account goes on to say that an antibiotic spray and ointment were next applied. Green clay was also placed over the wound “to accelerate healing.” Long lasting antibiotics were administered via injection to prevent against infection.
The treatment lasted about 1.5 hours and, according to the account, “was a great success.” Siena soon joined the rest of her pride.
Wild Lions Live in Constant Fear
Two days later, Siena was seen marching around and tending to her cubs, as usual. She had to urinate and squatted down, which would have involved movement of the wounded area, but she showed no signs of pain.
The lifespan of adult lions in the wild is about 14 years, but Siena already seems to have nine lives.