By John Ingham
Mshale has survived four attacks in just over a year – and become a symbol of the crisis facing the species today.
Poachers want his huge tusks which would be worth about £10,000 on the black market.
The 40-year-old bull survived three poison arrow attacks, in November 2012 and March and August last year, before being speared last month.
Each time he was treated by teams from the Nairobi-based David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Kenya Wildlife Service.
This picture, released to mark the UN’s first World Wildlife Day today, was taken last month as Mshale was felled by a tranquilliser dart in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park.
This allowed a wildlife trust team to treat a deep wound from a spear probably thrust into his neck by a poacher up a tree.
The attack came just days before Prince Charles and Prince William hosted an international conference in London where it was agreed to crack down on the illegal trade in wildlife products. But trust director Rob Brandford said only a complete ban on the sale of ivory can stop the illegal trade “which is worth up to £11.4billion a year, and claims the lives of 36,000 elephants and countless wildlife rangers”.
He also called for more investment in ranger training, equipment and numbers, better border security, and for “kingpins” of the illegal trade to be pursued in the same way as drug barons are.
The wildlife trust has eight anti-poaching teams patrolling the vast Tsavo park. Last year they arrested 391 poachers.
Mr Brandford said: “This incredible bull elephant is not giving up – and neither are we.”