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Orphaned Baby Elephant Comforted By New Family After Losing His Mom

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is renowned for being the most successful orphan elephant rescue and wildlife rehabilitation program in Kenya. It was founded in 1977 by Dame Daphne Sheldrick to honor her late husband, David Sheldrick.

In 2018, when a crew of David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) was doing a regular patrol on a plane in the area, they spotted a calf’s lone traces on the sand alongside the Tiva River. They realized something was wrong and quickly deployed a rescue team. The team brought the baby to the orphanage for medical care and also gave him some milk. Without the mother, the poor elephant had to be starved for a long time.

Image Credit: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust 

Mukkoka was a 1-year-old elephant calf. When found, he was exhausted and scared, wandering near a river in Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park. There had to be something awful because, at that time, he was all alone, with no sign of his mother or his herd.

Image Credit: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust 

Mukkoka then recovered quickly thanks to the caretakers at the orphanage. His mother was nowhere to be found so they thought that meeting friends might be the best way to give him emotional support. And after a few days, they decided to introduce him to a new family, so he wouldn’t be alone anymore.

Image Credit: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust 

As soon as he met his new herd, the other elephants surrounded him with care and attention, like they could feel his sorrow. The young calf was now a part of a new family, and he would never be left behind, ever again.

“They immediately enveloped him and led him out into the forest to meet the rest of the nursery herd. The greeting he was met with was a warm one, with the other babies reaching out their trunks to comfort and welcome Mukkoka as a new family member” – Rob Brandford, executive director of DSWT.

Image Credit: David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust 

The elephants are just like us. They are social animals and each family is connected by a strong bond between members. It was so lucky that Mukkoka was found in time. Although he lost his mother, he has a new family now. He will likely stay at the orphanage for around ten years before returning to the wild. During that time, he will be taken care of by DSWT and learn from his family all the needed skills to survive.

To help Mukkoka and the other orphaned elephants, you can make a donation to David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

H/T: dailybbnews

 

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