How is Senamo the Sumatran elephant now?

Thank you to everyone who donated to our Christmas appeal. Your love and support have made a huge difference to Senamo - and will also help other elephants trapped in poacher snares.

You may remember that Senamo, a thirty-year-old elephant, had become trapped in a sling snare in the Leuser ecosystem in Sumatra. Although she managed to break the rope that was holding her in place, it was still embedded in her foot. An injury like this can lead to death. 

Above: Rangers treat Senamo's wound, applying antibiotic medicine and cleaning the area to help Senamo heal

Elephants need their feet to break tough branches to eat, as well as to tramp the thousands  of kilometres they walk every year through the forest. Without the ability to walk easily and break branches, Senamo could have starved to death, or she might have died from infection. A terrible death for such a beautiful sentient being.

Our partner Forum Konservasi Leuser (FKL) and the local authorities evacuated Senamo from the area and removed the rope. The wound was already quite infected and she needed urgent medical care. Thanks to generous donors like you, they were able to provide her the medical treatment she needed, treat the wound, and monitor her to ensure she recovered well.

Above: A ranger holds up the thick rope snare that had been embedded in Senamo's foot

So how is Senamo now? The great news is that she rejoined her herd in the eastern part of the Leuser not long after her treatment, and they have been protecting her ever since. Her herd moves with her and surrounds her, guarding her from danger, similar to the ways they protect baby elephants from predators. Senamo’s loving herd knows that she is injured and they’re caring for her in the best way they can, now that her medical needs have been taken care of.

At first, Senamo was still limping quite a lot as she and the herd moved through the thick Leuser forest. The wound from the rope was quite deep, and we weren’t sure how well she’d recover once she was freed from it. Due to the dense thickets she and herd are moving through, it’s also a challenge for the rangers to get a close look at the wound and even to take clear photos! But this is a good sign, as it shows Senamo is able to navigate dense forest.

Above: Senamo pictured in through the trees, accompanied by her protective herd

First reports of her weight were a little worrying, as she looked quite thin in comparison to the rest of the herd. But in the past week, we’ve heard that her body weight has nearly recovered! She’s looking much healthier, almost the same size and weight as the other elephants in her herd!

This is wonderful news, and although Senamo is still improving, her recovery and weight are a fantastic sign that she will survive. And it’s all thanks to our amazing supporters. Senamo and many other elephants are alive today because of you. Thank you.

Take a look at Senamo below, moving through the dense forest with her herd.

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