Little Araba, who was rescued recently after her mother died from a poisoned arrow wound, was spirited away by Emily’s herd on the 17th after they visited the Voi stockades. Despite the Keeper’s best efforts, they were unable to separate her from the ex-orphan herd with ever protective Mweya acting as guardian, determined to keep her in their fold. This whole scenario was stressing the Keepers who were mindful that Araba, rescued just over a month ago, remains very much a milk-dependent calf and needs her regular milk feeds in order to grow strong and healthy.
Araba obviously communicated her desire for a milk feed later in the day, and that signal, coupled with Lesanju’s understanding of the situation, prompted her to take control and separate Araba from the ex-orphans and bring her back to the Keepers, and back into the dependent orphan fold. The collaborative partnerships our Keepers enjoy with both our dependent and independent orphans reveal themselves constantly, and never cease to amaze us. They confirm for us time and time again the wondrous ways of elephants.
You can read Araba’s rescue story here: http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/asp/orphan_profile.asp?N=34
Earlier in the year we had ex-orphans bring injured Suguta back to the Ithumba stockades for help, understanding this is what needed to happen in order to save her life. Her injuries were treated and to this day Suguta has decided to remain with the Ithumba dependent orphans, and thankfully she is now completely healed.
In 2011 ex-orphan Burra returned escorting injured Solango who had broken his leg, understanding that despite being wild now, he needed help from his human family even though they had both been independent for many years. Thankfully we managed to nurse Solango back to health and he made a 100% recovery, but these are just a few stories that illustrate just how perceptive elephants are.
Solango’s broken leg story: http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/updates/updates.asp?ID=319
Solango’s rescue story: http://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org/asp/orphan_profile.asp?N=39