Ulysses is a well known elephant bull at the Amboseli National Park, Kenya. He was named and monitored throughout his entire 39 years of age by the Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE), a foundation that aims to ensure the long-term conservation and welfare of Africa’s elephants. On 29th June 2016, he was sighted with a bad spear injury by ATE and Big Life Foundation’s pilot Craig Millar.
A vet was called who cleaned the wound, packed the cavity with antibiotics and green clay. Ulysses was then given long-acting antibiotics and painkillers. During the whole treatment, Ulysses remained very calm and understood that help was at hand. After a little while, the bull got to his feet and ambled off in the direction of the swamp with a peaceful backward glance.
In March 2018, he was found again in a huge amount of pain. Originally found by a lodge guest, Ulysses didn’t have to wait long for the alerted Big Life Foundation team. More support shortly followed – all in the matter of hours (impressive considering the distances) – and in support of assisting this special bull.
The vet treated Ulysses for a very deep and serious wound that went all the way down to the joint. It was caused by a sharp object – probably another spear. The prognosis was not great, and due to large amounts of rain since the treatment, it was impossible for the teams to get to the area to check up on him. Luckily, the rangers spotted him on 15th of March amongst a herd of elephants and he seemed to be in much better shape already. Fingers crossed he will make it from here!
Photo copyright and text: Big Life & Jeremy Goss