A three-month-old baby elephant has been rescued after being found wandering alone in the Maputo Special Reserve, Mozambique. The tiny baby has been stabilized and is now awaiting the necessary permits to move to a specialized care facility in South Africa, for finally released back into the wild.
This incredible rescue story is thanks to the cooperation of many people and organizations listed at the end of this article, but the survival of the fragile elephant is now in the hands of the authorities, who need to issue the necessary paperwork.
Doctor. Carlos Lopes Pereira (ANAC) and Michelle Henley (Elephants Alive) are in conservation with the Department of Environment in South Africa to secure import permits.
First to the scene were members of the Muvucuza Community in the Maputo Special Reserve, who alerted rangers to the baby elephant wandering alone. These community members need special mention and thanks – because without this intervention, the baby elephant would surely have perished.
A team was quick to respond, led by Mozambique’s National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC), Save the Survivors, the Dyck Advisory Group and the Peace Parks Foundation (PPF).
The calf was found to be extremely weak and hungry, and it is estimated that it was left alone for about three days. Veterinarian Dr João Almeida from Saving the Survivors said that the situation lasted only a few hours. The specialized raw milk had to be shipped from South Africa, although the liquid was administered intravenously immediately.
The baby elephant has now gradually gained strength, and its survival hopes are now very high. The baby elephant is currently being infused with plenty of water and bottle-fed every two hours. She has started passing faeces and is sleeping regularly – these are all good signs.
A PPF technical advisor working at the Maputo Special Reserve has advised that elephants rarely a.ba.ndon their young and speculated that the elephant may have been ill for some time. He added that working together to protect the wildlife in this reserve is crucial to preserving its biodiversity.
The Maputo Special Reserve is fast becoming one of Mozambique’s top tourist attractions, which will significantly improve livelihood opportunities for the local community.
The rescue operation was carried out with support from the Dyck Advisory Group, Blue Sky Society, Elephant Alive, Elephant Coast Company, Hoedspruit Endangered Species Center, Saving the Survivors and Peace Parks Foundation.
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