Rescued elephant calf adopted

Rescued elephant calf adopted
Published: 18 May 2017 (2862 Views)
An orphaned baby elephant has been fully accepted into a semi-wild elephant herd at Camp Jabulani outside Hoedspruit in a rare success story.

The baby elephant, Timisa, which means courageous in Xitsonga, who was rescued in November last year at Umbabat Reserve near Kruger National Park by Elephants Alive, is thriving under the care of her adoptive family.  

The tiny female elephant, extremely dehydrated when found, was the calf seen a few weeks earlier trying to suckle from her dying mother. Since there were lions in the area and the calf had little chance of surviving, permission was granted to move the calf to a safer area.

After a first night spent under the warmth of heating lamps, the traumatised baby elephant was introduced to her new family which immediately accepted her in a manner unusual of typical elephant behaviour.

Human emotions ran high as the matriarch, Tokwe, allowed the calf to comfort feed while the rest of the herd greeted her eagerly with streaming temporal glands and loud trumpeting.

"Tokwe's daughter, Limpopo, couldn't stop touching the little one and she was soon corralled amongst the pillared legs of all the females," said Harriet Nimmo, marketing manager of Elephants Alive. "Then they set out into the bush with the grooms in tow and never let the calf out of their sight."

"There are isolated cases of orphaned calves adopted by wild herds but this does not happen often and it is probably more likely for a lactating female within the same herd to adopt an orphaned calf," says Dr. Michelle Henley, CEO and co-founder of Elephants Alive.

Camp Jabulani is home to 14 semi-domesticated elephants, rescued from a culling program in Zimbabwe over 20 years ago, who now roam in a natural environment under the supervision of keepers, who protect them from potential conflict with wild elephant herds on the reserve.

Six months later, Timisa has adjusted perfectly to her new life and her adoptive mother, Limpopo, who has strongly bonded with her new baby.

Although South Africa's elephant population has historically been stable, ivory poaching, which has seen 30% of Africa's elephants wiped out in the past seven years, is now on the rise in the Kruger National Park with more than 80 elephants poached in the past 18 months.

"The survival of one elephant can make a difference and open a new world of thinking to us. It may be time for us to change our conservation focus so that we never have to apologise for having compassion for an individual," says Dr. Henley.

- Melissa Reitz

 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

MDC Alliance: The Election Bulletin - Issue 06

by MDC Communications | 17 July 2018 | 93 Views

Simple rigging proof mechanism

by S. Nhliziyo | 17 July 2018 | 85 Views

Chamisa to take ZEC head-on

by Staff rpeorter | 17 July 2018 | 83 Views

Matebeleland Chiefs petition Chiwenga over dispute

by Staff rpeorter | 17 July 2018 | 70 Views

Chamisa fails to shake off 'Grace Mugabe pact' claims

by Staff rpeorter | 17 July 2018 | 79 Views

Mnangagwa tells white farmers 'You are part of us'

by Staff rpeorter | 17 July 2018 | 91 Views

'Chigumba's arrogance reflective of her ignorance'

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 79 Views

Zanu-PF looking beyond polls, says Mnangagwa

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 67 Views

Chamisa calls for SADC, AU to protect election

by AFP | 17 July 2018 | 78 Views

President Mnangagwa man of the moment

by Elijah Chihota | 17 July 2018 | 78 Views

Congratulations to France

by Thomas Murisa | 17 July 2018 | 61 Views

Will Mnangagwa defy odds on 30 July?

by Benny Gudo | 17 July 2018 | 65 Views

ZEC: A menace tormenting Zimbabwe

by Benny Gudo | 17 July 2018 | 56 Views

Mnangagwa misleads Zimbabweans

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 113 Views

Zimra board pockets $300,000

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 83 Views

Senior MDC-Alliance leaders jump ship

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 123 Views

Chiwenga urges deserters to, 'Come back home'

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 95 Views

ZEC warns Chamisa, MDC-Alliance

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 110 Views

'Zanu-PF abusing State resources'

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 69 Views

Zec sued over disclosure of voters' details

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 67 Views

Musindo showers lavish praise on Madiro

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 60 Views

Chamisa's supporters released without charge

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 57 Views

Serial car thief jailed

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 51 Views

Chamisa rules out presidential election run-off

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 72 Views

Mugabe challenges default judgment

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 64 Views

Chamisa turns heat over ballot paper design

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 68 Views

'We tried talking to Mugabe but failed'

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 63 Views

Zec in fresh storm over polling booths

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 58 Views

Chiwenga embraces Chamisa's 'spaghetti roads'

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 67 Views

Mnangagwa 'steals' campaign concept

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 70 Views

'Mugabe stalled border upgrade'

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 42 Views

'Valerio Sibanda facilitated Mnangagwa's escape'

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 41 Views

Chief Charumbira drops another bombshell

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 38 Views

MDC Alliance in a fight they will not win

by Lloyd Msipa | 17 July 2018 | 70 Views

Langton 'School Boy' Tinago dies

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 46 Views

Fight breaks over 'Mugabe prophet'

by Staff reporter | 17 July 2018 | 34 Views