Video: Saving an African Lion

Candice Gaukel Andrews May 1, 2014 11

Lions are facing many human threats today, such as population growth, agricultural expansion, poisoning and poaching. @Eric Rock

While it’s never been easy to make your living as an animal in Africa, wildlife presently residing there face even more challenges than their ancestors did. For example, in the last four months in Kenya alone, poachers have killed 18 rhinos and 51 elephants. And according to World Wildlife Fund, habitat loss—due to lands being cleared for agriculture, housing, pipelines, roads and other hallmarks of industrial development—poses the greatest threat to species today. Add the ever-present danger of an injury from taking down prey, and you can understand how the odds are stacked against African animals from the get-go.

On April 4, 2014, one such hunting accident befell a lioness on the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Luckily, Sky Vets came to the rescue.

A mobile veterinary service operated by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi, Sky Vets sends Kenya Wildlife Service veterinarians into hard-to-reach places when an emergency in the field calls. In April, when Sky Vet Dr. Njoroge got to the scene on the Maasai reserve, he found that a bull buffalo had gored a lioness. The animal was conscious, but she was limping and all of the muscles in her left, hind flank were exposed. Dr. Njoroge and his team darted her with a tranquilizer and quickly moved in to clean and disinfect her wound.

Within 90 minutes, Dr. Njoroge had sutured the lioness together. He then packed her injury with green clay, administered antibiotics, and watched as she soon got back on her feet and went to her cubs.

According to Outside Magazine, two days later Sky Vets received this message from the reserve: “To see this lioness walking with her cubs and also squatting to release urine while she showed little remorse or pain was amazing. We only hope that she continues to improve.”

Watch the Sky Vets video, below. Although it’s a bit graphic, the happy ending is well worth a viewing.

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,




  1. Vanessa @ Green Global Travel June 2, 2014 at 8:59 am - Reply

    Wow, that was impressive to see. It’s good to see human beings help out and really stresses how important of an issue wildlife in Africa is.

  2. Susan Rolleri Hendler May 14, 2014 at 9:40 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing! As an RN I am very impressed with the beautiful work the vet performed in field! Bravo to the whole team!!

  3. Mindy Stinner May 11, 2014 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    Really excellent job demonstrating the challenges to wild animals and the effectiveness of the DSWT. Well done!

  4. Vanessa Allen May 11, 2014 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    Thanks for posting and thanks again to The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, a wonderful organization

  5. Fiona Gordon May 4, 2014 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    absolutely awesome!

  6. Mara Martínez Morant May 4, 2014 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    This video is gorgeous, the scenes have caused me a strange double feeling. On the one hand, the satisfaction of seeing that we still help to the other animals and, second, to think that there are countless factors, caused by human animals, that threaten their lives.

  7. Gabriella Francine May 4, 2014 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing!


  8. Charissa Allan May 3, 2014 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Very well done video.

  9. Valerie Brookes May 3, 2014 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    That was one huge wound! I am surprised she was walking and alert when they got there. Marvelous work they are doing and at least both her and her cubs will live to fight (literally!) another day!

  10. Paula Martin May 3, 2014 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    On the ground response with happy endings…The best.

  11. SAMUEL HAMY May 3, 2014 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Impressive successful mobilization, thanks for sharing.

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