Eagle-eyed tourists contacted rescue services in Kenya after spotting a tiny elephant calf struggling to survive alone in the wild.
The Kenyan wildlife service and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust quickly dispatched a rescue team after receiving a number of calls from people concerned about the calf.
Executive Director of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Angela Sheldrick explains, ‘the Rescue Team located the calf after a short search and it became clear that he was in desperate need of rescuing, and in fact with the infamous Tsavo lions plentiful in that area, it was a miracle that he was still alive.’
‘Small predators – we suspect jackals – had attacked his rear end and hind legs and, due to his wounds coupled by poor condition, it was evident that we needed to respond fast.’
Desperately dehydrated and wounded, the calf was cared for locally overnight. After regaining some strength, the next day he was loaded onto a plane and flown to the Nairobi National Park where the DSWT run an orphanage for rhinos and elephants.
Angela says, ‘the reason behind him being abandoned remains a mystery, but there had been a couple of poaching causalities in the area around this time and it is possible that one of these victims was his mother.
‘What often happens in such situations is that the calf remains with the herd, but as it loses strength due to a lack of milk, the herd is forced to abandon it when it can no longer keep up due to its weakened state.’
Despite his ordeal and the injuries he sustained, this resilient little calf is recovering well.
He is receiving around-the-clock care from a dedicated team of keepers and has forged a strong bond with older elephant Tagwa who has taken the calf under his wing.
‘He has benefited from the love and comfort of our older females, Mbegu and Godoma, who are lavish in their attention of the young babies – carefully ushering them through each day, always guiding them and reassuring them,’ Angela says.
‘It is a marvel to watch this beautiful, gentle nurturing nature of elephants. Some of our successes in the more challenging cases can be attributed directly to the help and care afforded to newcomers by our resident elephant orphans, healing the traumatic scars of loss that haunt these little orphans by giving them that all important ingredient – the will to live.’
Watch the video above to see this gorgeous little creature for yourself.