Former Orphan Elephant Introduces Her Baby to the Wildlife Sanctuary That Saved Her Life

Yatta, a once-orphaned elephant, recently brought her newborn calf to meet her former caretakers at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) in Kenya. The 18-year-old elephant, released back into the wild more than eight years ago, was rescued as an orphan by DSWT in 1999.

Yatta grew up at the sanctuary, raised by human caretakers alongside other orphaned elephants. Eventually, she joined a herd of adult ex-orphans living in the wild.

Last month, Yatta returned to the sanctuary with her new calf, whom rescuers have named Yoyo. Yatta’s firstborn daughter, Yetu, accompanied her mother and new brother during the visit.

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Watch the video at the end.

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Yatta allows a caretaker to remove ticks from Yoyo’s ears. Source: DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST

DSWT staff described Yatta as a “proud momma” who, in a display of trust and affection, brought her newborn to meet the people who saved her. Rob Brandford of DSWT remarked that although it is common for ex-orphans to return with their calves, each visit remains an extraordinary experience.

Brandford highlighted the significance of these visits, noting that elephants consider family to be everything. The former caretakers become a part of the elephants’ family. Yatta, now called a “miracle mum,” has given birth to two healthy calves fathered by wild-born elephants.

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Yatta’s ex-orphan herd returning for a visit. Source: DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST

DSWT was delighted to discover that two of Yatta’s adopted orphan “sisters” also gave birth to calves the same month. The sanctuary now celebrates a total of 28 wild-born babies. These new calves bring hope to DSWT, which rescues numerous orphaned and injured elephants each year, many of whom fall victim to poachers.

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Yatta’s new calf, Yoyo. Source: DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST

Yatta’s own mother was killed for her tusks when Yatta was just one month old. Workers nearby heard her cries and helped transport her to DSWT’s care. Yatta is now one of over 100 orphaned elephants successfully reintroduced to the wild by DSWT, which also employs a field team to protect wild habitats from poachers.

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Yoyo, the calf, walks alongside his mom, Yatta. Source: DAVID SHELDRICK WILDLIFE TRUST
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The caretakers at DSWT expressed their joy at witnessing the ex-orphan herds expand so naturally, calling it the greatest gift and a testament to the success of the Orphans Project.

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Watch a video of the three new calves below:


Via: The Dodo

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