Heartwarming Bond: Orphaned Elephant Calf Finds Surrogate Family in Older Companions

In a heartwarming tale of resilience, baby African elephant Eliot faced early hardships when a lightning strike tragically took his parents and herd.

But this little survivor’s story improved when he found solace and companionship in two older elephants after being rescued three days old.

Eliot the baby elephant (right) pictured with Beatrix (left) and Kadiki (centre) – all three are orphans

Eliot’s new friends, Kadiki and Beatrix, share his fate of losing their families. Kadiki, at a mere day old, endured a lion attack, while Beatrix narrowly escaped a difficult situation after getting stuck in a gully.


Kadiki, known for his nurturing nature, stepped in as a motherly figure for Beatrix, a touching display that melted hearts worldwide.

Like Eliot, his new playmates Kadiki, aged three, and Beatrix, one, were also orphaned and narrowly escaped death

These kind-hearted companions are now extending their support to three-month-old Eliot at the Zimbabwe Elephant Nursery near Harare.

Roxy Danckwerts, a dedicated animal advocate running the Wild is Life charity that manages the sanctuary, highlighted the extraordinary depth of emotion and care displayed among these elephant friends.


Scientific studies emphasize elephants’ robust social bonds within their family units, reflecting the remarkable connection that Eliot, Kadiki, and Beatrix have formed despite their tragic pasts.

Since being rescued on Christmas Day and taken to a sanctuary aged just three days old, Eliot has been helped through the tough times – by two friendly older elephants

As these resilient young elephants grow more robust, the sanctuary’s ultimate goal is to relocate them to a protected reserve near Victoria Falls, a haven safe from poachers, where they can reintegrate with wild elephant herds and continue their inspiring journey together.

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