The handsome creature named, Pretty Boy, knew he needed help after suffering a gunshot wound.
An elephant, who was ruthlessly shot, managed to survive the attack and even walk up to humans for help. The handsome creature named, Pretty Boy, knew he needed help after suffering a gunshot wound. According to The Dodo, he heartbreakingly walked around with his gash for several weeks before locating people who had arrived there to help him.
Veterinarians in the Animal and Wildlife Area Research and Rehabilitation Trust (AWARE), arrived at the Mana Pools National Park after learning about an elephant that had been injured. As soon as the experts with the wildlife conservation organization in Zimbabwe arrived there, Pretty Boy quickly approached them for assistance and they didn't even need to look for him.
"He made himself available for examination within half an hour, coming right up to their car," wrote the organization on Facebook. "An extremely gentle and relaxed bull, the vets managed to get a good look at what immediately became apparent was a hole going into his forehead," it continued. Next, the vets, tranquilized the giant creature to take an X-ray for the deformed bullet that was nestled inside his head.
Speaking to The Dodo, director of AWARE Dr. Lisa Marabini explained, "Bullets are usually sterile when they penetrate tissue as they generate so much heat, so if they don't hit a vital structure they can often be left." That was the case for Pretty Boy, who was luckily hit just centimeters high for it being a fatal shot. The bullet had ricocheted off his skull and instead caused a fracture in the bones of his sinuses.
As the head wound was left untreated for so long, it had become infected. That's why it was extremely important for the bullet and the dead tissues to be removed from his body. "It was essential to remove the dead pieces of bone so that the body could continue to heal the infection," added Marabini. She also believed that the person who shot Pretty Boy tried to aim for his heart but instead hit his shoulder as the elephant had an abscess in that location from another bullet.
"We think he was shot outside the park and came into the park for refuge," she noted. "Whether it was a poacher or a hunt gone wrong, we can only speculate." Marabini thinks it was not a professional hunter, because otherwise, they would have used a more appropriate bullet. They also found an old scar near the animal's spine, suggesting that he may have been shot at in the past. Despite the cruelty he had been subjected to by humans, he was remarkably gentle towards the folks who wanted to help him.
"I never usually feel totally comfortable getting very close to a wild elephant. But he literally emanated serenity. There were no aggressive vibes coming from him whatsoever," she shared. Pretty Boy's head wound was successfully cleared and he was given long-lasting antibiotics and parasiticides. "The following day he was feeling much happier and very relaxed. His progress will be monitored by the tour operators in the area and, if necessary, a follow-up treatment will be done," wrote AWARE.
"He came 5 centimeters close to death," said Marabini. "He was lucky."
Cover image source: Facebook | Aware Trust Zimbabwe