Written by: Patrick Reynolds, Governors Il Moran Camp manager
Lioness Siena from the Marsh Pride of lions in the Maasai Mara was badly injured on her left lower flank by a buffalo horn. Siena has three tiny cubs so the lives of four individual lions were at stake. The wound was deep with the skin sheath being fleeced but no perforations to the stomach wall or any bone dislocation.
Safari guides found her with the injury in the early morning and immediately alerted the rangers, we also made contact with the David Sheldrick Wildlife foundation that mobilised the vet in Nairobi and arranged a plane to fly the vet to the Mara.
The veterinarian Dr Njoroge from the Kenya Wildlife service’s landed at Musiara airstrip at lunchtime and Governors guides drove the medical team directly to where Siena was resting. Treatment started in the afternoon when she was darted. Moments later a sub-adult lioness promptly sauntered up to Siena who was still standing while the drug was taking effect and pulled the dart out of her with her teeth.
Siena was treated and stitched effectively which took approximately 1½ hours.
48 hours later we found Siena 2 kms on from were she had been treated and she was doing remarkably well, she was walking with her cubs and also squatting to pee; all good signs, we only hope that she continues to improve.
Sincere thanks to the effective response from the The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the medical team from the Kenya Wildlife services, and the assistance of the Narok County Council and Governors’ camp staff.
Without intervention it is certain that Siena would not have survived this injury and her cubs would also have been in jeopardy.