It might seem like a suicide mission for an injured animal to expose itself to dangerous predators like lions and hyenas, but one injured dog knew it was the only way she would ever survive.
When one puppy from Botswana was just a few weeks old, her spine was crushed, and she’s been paralyzed ever since. She did her best to survive and had to drag herself on her belly in order to get anywhere, but it was clear she wouldn’t last much longer without help.
In spite of the risks, the brave puppy decided to set out in search of help and recently dragged herself into a remote elephant research camp in the northern Okavango region of Botswana. “She came crawling — literally crawling because her back legs were completely immobilized — into our research camp,” Amanda Stronza, a worker from the camp,
“She came crawling — literally crawling because her back legs were completely immobilized — into our research camp,” Amanda Stronza, a worker from the camp, said about the puppy they named Poppy. “She was unable to walk, but full of love and seeking help.”
“Our camp is in a remote region, filled with elephants, but also lions, hyenas, and other predators,” Stronza said. “Poppy had somehow made it to us, emaciated and soaking wet from the rain.” But the risk was worth it since the workers in the camp immediately took Poppy in and even drove her eight hours to the closest vet for treatment.
The vet examined the seven-month-old and determined she would eventually need surgery to fix her spine. “He said the chances were ‘slim’ she could make it through the surgery or recovery afterward,” Stronza said. “But she had so much life in her, and I knew we needed to honor her will to live and the hard fight she had already fought to find us and stay alive. I couldn’t agree to euthanize her.”
Instead, they focused on giving Poppy plenty of food, water, and anti-inflammatory medicine, and they’re amazed at how much progress Poppy has already made. “Her eyes pulled us in immediately,” Stronza said. “They are huge, imploring, and sparkling with life. She bursts with the sweetest spirit, and we could see that clearly, despite the desperate condition she was in.”
For now, Poppy is being cared for by the camp workers who refuse to give up on her as long as she doesn’t give up. After another month of rest, the team will see if she’s strong enough to survive surgery and have already started a GoFundMe to raise money for the surgery.
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[Featured image: Amanda Stronza]
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