“He showed care and protection. We felt sure he knew the help was available.”
This wild baby elephant refused to leave the side of his wo.unded friend – no matter what.
Earlier this week, rangers patrolling in the Maasai Mara National Reserve discovered five elephants injured by the arrows in Kenya. When the rangers gathered information from the nearby communities, they learned what happened – local farmers sh.ot the elephants after the elephants ate some of their crops.
Forest rangers from the Olarro Conservancy immediately contacted the Kenya Wildlife Agency (KWS) and the Mara Elephant Project (MEP), who reached the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT). Then everyone worked together to get a mobile veterinary team to fly out and heal the elephants.
Before the team can help the injured elephants, they have to sedate the wo.unded animal – and this must be done by helicopter. When the team defeated the first bull, it turned away from the herd, and a more enormous elephant and a calf.
Angela Sheldrick, CEO of DSWT said: “From the air, it was assumed it was a mother and a calf accompanied her calf. “Subsequently, the ground teams confirmed two young bulls with a calf.”
About 18 months old, this calf was near the sedated elephant, who may be the calf’s brother, although this cannot be confirmed. The calf’s mother is nowhere to be seen.
“The baby was very protective of the baby elephant and refused to leave his side to join the older elephant … once the young bull succumbed to the anesthetic,” Sheldrick said. “The young man boldly stayed with the young bull throughout the operation.”
Being surrounded by humans can be intimidating for baby elephants, mainly because humans injure their friend in the first place. But nothing is stopping him from staying on the bulls’ side.
“The calf that is close, sometimes on the calf, is obviously worried about its recumbent state but is too protective of running away or leaving beside it,” says Sheldrick. “He was said to be not serious because humans completely surrounded him during the operation. It was his love and loyalty to the patient on the side.”
While no one knows what the baby elephant is thinking, Sheldrick suspects that he knows the vet is helping his friend.
“This is not a small calf,” Sheldrick said. “At the age of 18, he is still very capable of beating an adult man. He did not show such aggression during the proceedings, which was unusual behavior towards a wild elephant in a situation like this. Usually, a too-young child will run away or rush to blow a trumpet or hit him. ”
However, the baby elephant remained calm and attentive throughout the challenge, despite many people and vehicles entering and leaving the area, according to Sheldrick.
Sheldrick added: “He shows care and protection, but elephants are brilliant animals, and somewhere we feel sure he knows our help,” Sheldrick. added. “[This] makes it all more remarkable because of the recent human-wildlife conflict and the injuries caused to this herd by human hands. Aggression and fear will be expected; This baby elephant knows the difference between the two situations because he doesn’t panic. ”
The veterinary team worked for two days helping the five injured elephants. Thankfully, there were no life-threatening injuries, and the elephants were able to recover and return to their herd fully.
“[That] has been a very unusual day for all involved, and those on the ground have made it clear how touched they are at the youngster’s protective behavior,” Sheldrick said. “Of course, attending to incidents like this, where elephants have been injured through no fault of their own … is always passionate for the teams. However, knowing you can make a difference is uplifting.”