Mother elephant caught in poachers’ snare is rescued in Zimbabwe

A determined wildlife rescue group just saved the life of a mother elephant after she was seen with a poacher’s snare on her leg. 

Elephant Martha was spotted with the piece of metal deeply cutting into her leg as she walked the Zimbabwe wilderness with her baby.

58-year-old conservationist Catherine Norton was immediately called to the Musango Island Safari Camp after the owner saw the elephant struggling to walk.

Catherine said she and her group had to put the mother to sleep to treat her wounds, saying she would definitely have died without people’s help.

“There was a wire snare digging deep into her left front leg, crippling her and causing severe pain,” she said.

“We had to clean the wound as it was infected, give her antibiotics and remove the snare with wire cutters.

“It only took her a few minutes to come around but the outcome could have been so much worse.”

According to Catherine, the baby elephant was completely reliant on its mother, meaning that if Martha had passed away she would likely follow suit.

“It shows how much damage can be done to an innocent animal with just one piece of wire,” Catherine said, adding that one poacher could set up to 20 such traps in one day.

“Poaching isn’t just about shooting and axes,’ Catherine said. “This method is just as cruel and equally deadly.”

Wire snares such as the one Martha was caught in are normally set to capture smaller animals around the neck, but big animals like rhinos and elephants sometimes are also caught by them.

Back in 2017, a Zimbabwe lion died after a snare cut into its stomach and tore its neck open.

Normally, snares are put to hang down from small trees in order to serve as a rope for a passing animal.

As soon as it’s captured, the animal starts to panic, pulling the wire even tighter around its own throat until it cannot breathe any longer and dies.

And while larger animals are normally powerful enough to break free from snares, the process often entangles the wire even tighter around their leg.

The creature is then tormented by extreme pain and the wound can easily get infected. Large animals caught by snares often die due to the infection or stop eating and starve to death.

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Source: Daily Mail

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