Wounded elephant shot by poachers seeks out humans for help

Credit: Bumi Hills Foundation

An elephant with gunshot wounds limped to a safari lodge in what appeared to be a cry for help.

The injured bull elephant, named Ben, made his way from the bush to the Bumi Hills Safari Lodge in Zimbabwe and waited six hours until veterinary help arrived.

Manager Nick Milne realised the creature was limping and likely to have been severely injured in a failed poaching attempt.

But as his in-house vet was away he had to fly in another specialist 200 miles away to treat the animal.

Staff and volunteers assisted the vet in treating Ben. Credit: Bumi Hills Foundation

Ben the elephant waited patiently and drank water given to him by staff at the lodge until the vet arrived.

Ben the elephant had two old bullet holes in one of his ears. Credit: Bumi Hills Foundation

After tranquilizing the elephant, they found a deep wound in his shoulder, likely to be from a poacher's bullet.

Ben had two bullet holes in one of his ears from earlier poaching attempts.

Vets believe the elephant could have been suffering with the wound for about a month. Credit: Bumi Hills Foundation

The vet was able to treat the wound, thought to have been inflicted up to a month before, and the Bumi Hills Foundation released pictures of the elephant back on his feet again.

Mr Milne said Ben is recovering well and he has been fitted with a tracking collar so he can be monitored for treatment over the next couple of weeks.

"From our observations he doesn't seem to be limping as badly and the wound seems to be healing well externally, his condition remains good and he is feeding normally," he said.

"These are all positive signs however there is still a very long road ahead for this elephant considering we still do not know the extent of the internal injuries he may have."

He added: "It is incredibly humbling how everyone just pulls together when an animal needs urgent medical attention."

The charity has launched a Help Ben appeal on its Facebook page to cover vet bills, currently standing at $2,500, and any future costs of his treatment.