In Africa, baby elephants become orphaned after poachers kill their parents for ivory. Thanks to a lady, a lot of them are still able to live a happy and safe life.
A lot of people seem to love elephants. They’re some of the smartest animals in the whole world.
But, there are also people who heartlessly slaughter them to harvest their tusks. When this seems to happen, baby elephants are left without parents and are stranded in the wild. This is a huge problem for the babies (calves,) considering the fact that elephants are family-oriented animals.
Despite the fact that the poachers are often hard to capture, some people are helping elephants in other ways.
Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick has spent more than 40 years rescuing, raising and reintroducing orphaned elephant calves.
Similiar to humans, elephants feel huge levels of emotional devastation when they lose their loved ones.
A lot of orphan elephants who survive poacher attacks on their herds also have physical injuries. Dr. Sheldrick’s care has always helped calves get over their mental and physical issues.
Dr. Sheldrick’s rehabilitation center, which is called the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust after her late husband, has a special way of ensuring that an elephant calf is given what they need to thrive.
The sanctuary has a lot of space which allows the calves to play with one another. Despite of this, each and every single elephant calf gets assigned a personal human handler who looks after that animal.
Over the course of years, Dr. Sheldrick has developed a lot of different wonderful things that make sure that the elephant calves grow up to be healthy and happy.
For example, she has come up with a milk formula that tastes just like an elephant mother’s milk. This milk also gives the calves all the nutrients they need to grow into fully sized, healthy adults.
Each night, they are given shelter and even tucked in. And afterwards, the personal handlers lie down and sleep near them.
Dr. Sheldrick has said that it’s super crucial for the elephants to sleep quietly at night, and the personal handlers really go to extreme lengths to make sure that this happens!
The elephant handlers will tell anyone that each and every single elephant calf has a special personality.
They even give the calves different kinds of nicknames based on their own characters. For example, the handler Edwin Lusichi was once in charge of an elephant named Amos, but he preferred to call him “Al Queda,” because he was always terrorizing the other calves.
After some time, the elephants are taken back to the wild in an area where they can be safely monitored and protected by people.
It is always a sentimental moment for Dr. Sheldrick when she says goodbye to a few of the elephants she has raised. Fortunately, she at times gets reunited with them. And whenever she is able to meet up with some of the elephants that she has rescued, it’s always an emotional moment.
The elephants and their families always form a line and spend time hugging their human mom. They also show them their kids, informing Dr. Sheldrick that she is a grandma and a mother.
In the year 2011, Dr. Sheldrick let everyone know that she had raised more than 130 orphaned elephants. These elephants went on to raise families of their own and thrive in the wild thanks to this amazing woman. It’s no surprise that they are always so happy to see her!