Elephants are some of the most beloved animals in the world, but they also face unique dangers.
Unfortunately, elephants are still highly prized by poachers for their tusks. This means governments and rescue organizations in areas where elephants live are always keeping tabs on the elephant population and attempting to stop poachers in their tracks. They don’t always succeed, and sometimes animals still get hurt.
Animal Wildlife Area Research and Rehabilitation (AWARE) veterinarians were alerted to two wounded elephants in Zimbabwe when they came across something they had never seen before.
A large bull elephant they call “Pretty Boy” showed up and allowed them to start treatment. They wondered what the large mark in the center of his forehead was.
After vets tranquilized Pretty Boy, they used a metal detector to look for bullets trapped in his head.
Grey pus began emerging from the hole in his forehead and vets had never seen anything like it before.
They performed an x-ray on his skull and found that a deformed bullet had fractured his sinuses, which was causing the pus.
They removed necrotic bone fragments from inside Pretty Boy’s sinuses.
After the fragments were removed, they were finally able to flush out the wound and clean it completely.
He still looked pretty rough when he woke up, but the vets’ work saved him from a painful wound that will now hopefully be able to heal.
He took a nap against a tree after treatment, probably dealing with a huge headache.
When rescuers found him the next day, however, he was wide awake and eating well.