In an unexpected turn of events, a young elephant in Vietnam was sadly rejected by its family after being rescued by humans. This touching story highlights the delicate balance between wildlife and human intervention.
The baby elephant, named Gold, was separated from his mother when he fell into a well dug by illegal loggers near Buon Don, Vietnam.
After being nursed back to health by rescuers for two weeks, the team, led by British wildlife expert Dr. Jake Veasey, attempted to reunite Gold with his family. Initially, it appeared the reunion was a success, but Gold was found alone less than twelve hours later.
Dr. Veasey believes that Gold’s mother may not have been present in the herd or recognized her calf due to his human scent and exposure to human baby milk. It’s also possible that the mother was no longer lactating, making her less inclined to accept her baby.
Gold’s plight began when he got trapped in a well dug by illegal loggers. While adult elephants could access the water supply with their trunks, Gold’s smaller size led to his fall.
Rescuers had to carefully remove the other elephants from the area to save Gold without being attacked, as elephants in Vietnam view humans as threats.
Despite initial hopes that the herd would return for Gold, their fear of humans led them to abandon the area.
Gold resides in temporary housing as Animals Asia constructs a sanctuary for him and other needy elephants.
Dr. Veasey shared his concerns about Gold’s mental state, saying that the baby elephant showed signs of chronic stress and missed his mother.
The team initially refrained from providing excessive affection to avoid creating a human imprint on Gold.
Plans are underway to help Gold recover by introducing him to a new herd. Dr. Veasey and his colleagues aim to rescue elephants from Vietnam’s tourist trade and build new social groups at the sanctuary.
They hope that the solid maternal instincts of female elephants will help Gold thrive in his new environment.
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