It’s a story of birth, struggles, growing up, and the worst stages of life – and it all started with a baby elephant named Ellie.
Ellie, the African elephant, entered the world with the worst of starts. Placed in the Thula Thula game reserve after being left behind, Ellie wasn’t really in the best condition.
He suffered from an umbilical hernia, which is almost a death sentence for an elephant.
Thula Thula Game Reserve is a wildlife rescue sanctuary in South Africa. Sharing this home with Ellie are rhinos, zebras, buffalo, and a few more species. Although having a place to stay is not guaranteed to be safe for everyone. Ellie’s umbilical hernia has pretty much affected the calf.
Both species of African Elephants (the Bush Elephant Loxodonta africana and the Forest Elephant Loxodonta cyclotis) exhibit remarkable intelligence.
These trunked giants are incredibly social animals and are almost as susceptible to mental health problems as humans.
The handlers at the Thula Thula reserve went the extra mile to help Ellie. An umbilical hernia needs immediate treatment, and Ellie’s mental health is also declining. He won’t eat and almost certainly felt the crushing loneliness every day.
The mixture of boiled rice, minerals, and coconut milk helped Ellie get something to eat.
Definitely not the best-sounding dish, but it’s more than nothing.
Not the greatest-sounding food, sure, but it’s way better than nothing.
Even so, Ellie was still trying to process the heartbreak of being left behind. His behavior showed some flashing signs that he was still depressed. All that food won’t help if you’re as lonely as ever. The people at the game reserve had a remedy in mind.
Ellie was introduced to a German shepherd named Duma. Being a companion is what dogs do best, and Duma was no exception.
Duma showed Ellie what it’s like to have a friend and now the baby elephant doesn’t have to feel so lonely anymore.
Duma continued Ellie’s company for the next few months. The two formed a bond, and it probably means the whole world for Ellie, who was showing signs of becoming more alive and confident as long as they were together.
Thus began planning for Ellie’s future. They hope Ellie grows up and is sent back into the wild to start his own pack. Although this is not a guarantee at all.
Although Ellie had shown significant improvement over the past few months, things will not be so easy.
The baby elephant relapsed after 5 months, and although care and attention from the Duma and the sanctuary helped greatly, it proved not to be enough to save the poor elephant’s life.
Ellie then passed away at less than a year old, to the heartbreak of everyone around. Though his time on Earth was short, at least he learned to feel loved and cared for.
Most importantly, what he felt like to love another person.
Bittersweet doesn’t even begin to describe things, but that’s the nature of wildlife. To see Ellie’s full story, check out the video below.
This story of loneliness, growth, friendship, and life will probably resonate with many people, so please share this article with those you can!
Watch the adorable video below: