An elephant in Zimbabwe has miraculously survived after being shot in the head by suspected poachers.
The animal, named Pretty Boy, received medical treatment from conservation group Aware Trust Zimbabwe.
He was shot close to Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe – which is a hotspot for poachers – with experts revealing that if the bullet hit him 5cm lower, then he would have been killed.
Incredibly, it’s thought he had sustained the injury from three to six weeks before he was even seen by vets.
Speaking to the BBC, Dr Lisa Marabini, from Aware Trust Zimbabwe, said that the elephant was calm when he was treated by medics, adding: “It’s like he knew we were there with the intention of helping him.”
The elephant had also sustained a shoulder injury, with Dr Marabini suspecting that as the elephant turned to flee, a poacher put a bullet in his side.
In a statement on the organisation’s Facebook page, they said:
An X-ray was taken of Pretty Boy’s skull which – in the vets’ opinion – confirms the presence of a deformed bullet. He was likely shot at several centimeters too high for a “kill shot”, and the bullet glanced off his skull causing a depression fracture of the bones in his sinuses. The bullet is lodged under his skin some 5cm away from the wound, but because of the difficulty of taking several X-ray angles on a skull that big, it could not be sufficiently triangulated to definitively locate it.
As vets treated Pretty Boy, his well-being remained a huge concern as grey pus oozed from his wound, but the following day he seemed ‘much happier and very relaxed’.
We wish Pretty Boy a speedy recovery.