Injuries of free ranging African elephants (Loxodonta africana africana) in various ranges of Kenya

V. Obanda, D. Ndeereh, D. Mijele, I. Lekolool, S. Chege, F. Gakuya, P. Omondi

Abstract


Incidences of injuries to the free ranging African elephants (Loxodonta africana africana) are common but are rarely analysed to determine the magnitude and their effects on elephant health at population level. We analysed data derived from Kenya Wildlife Service records of reported incidences of injured elephants over a ten-year period (1998-2007) from all conservation areas in Kenya. A total of 397 elephants were reported with different types of injuries. Human inflicted injuries were the most prevalent (66.2%) and consisted of
deep intra-dermal gashes. The most affected parts were the orelegs with 37.2% of the injury incidences. Adult
males were predominantly injured with 84% prevalence, ompared to 17% for females. This preliminary study
shows that injuries on elephants are prevalent, with those inflicted by humans being life threatening. However, the effects of the injuries on the population viability and social behaviour need to be investigated further.

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