24th February 1988
As I was passing the Polonnaruwa Veterinary Clinic I saw a crowd gathered there. I stopped my car and checked what was going on. The people told me that a baby elephant had been brought for treatment. The mother elephant had died after being knocked down by a train at Minneriya. The baby elephant had been captured by the “Vets” and she was in dire straits because the naval was very badly infected with a discharge of pus. Maggots too had infected the wound. The wound had to be cleaned urgently. A delay in dealing with the sepsis could have resulted in the death of “this baby”.
There was no Veterinary Surgeon to do this. I volunteered my service and asked them to bring the baby elephant to the hospital. Outside the hospital an isolated corridor, I performed the operation while the helpers were holding onto the baby. Saline drips and antibiotics were administered. The baby elephant recovered from its illness and visited me at home to say “Thank you” on her way to the Dehiwala zoo.
WEEKEND – SUNDAY FEBRUARY 28 – 1988
Dear Reader, you might be interested to read my next post on domestic accidents and injuries which is preventable in rural areas even now : KEROSENE BURNS CAUSED BY A BOTTLE LAMP
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