Known for their large brains and impeccable memories, elephants are the cleverest families in the animal kingdom.
In addition to her high IQs, the elephant mother is also known to be highly empathetic. Therefore, mothers with newborn children are very unlikely to leave their babies in the wild unless the child has some serious medical condition or cannot meet the environmental needs of the group.
After being rejected from the herd because of a chronic illness, baby Ellie was left with an extremely slim chance of survival.
Fortunately, Ellie was taken to the Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage in Zululand, South Africa. The sanctuary has experience caring for various animals, including leopards, giraffes, hippos, and elephants.
As the name would suggest, this wildlife sanctuary mainly caters to baby rhinos in need of rehabilitation, but luckily for Ellie, this sanctuary was able to give him the care and attention.
Though not a rhino saved from poaching, Ellie received world-class care among her fellow rhinos.
The Wildlife Orphanage strives to meet the needs of all the animals that come through its doors. Although they focus on orphaned rhinos, the sanctuary will never give up an animal in need. Their goal is to help as many animals as possible.
Upon arrival at the orphanage, the staff quickly realized that Ellie had an umbilical hernia.
Unfortunately, the infected area became infected and spread throughout his bloodstream. Worse yet, the baby elephant has a milk allergy. The orphanage tried to ship some dairy products from different countries, but nothing worked for poor Ellie.
But they don’t give up! The staff started making a milk-like drink for the baby elephants!
Using thoroughly cooked rice with added protein and minerals, Ellie slowly regained the nutrients she needed. Slowly but surely, the baby elephant recovered some of his strength and energy.
After several failed attempts to unite Ellie with his herd, the orphanage became his permanent home.
Elephants are highly social animals that thrive in group habitats.
Baby Ellie began to face psychological problems without constant interaction from his fellow elephants. Elephants are a species that cannot survive without the necessary interactions with their fellow human beings.
While they can provide medical care, the sanctuary staff are unsure how to help poor Ellie with his social needs.
Despite the lack of support from the elephant herd, Ellie was still unable to be a companion at the sanctuary.
They’re just about the cutest animal duo we’ve ever seen.
Ellie befriended one of the orphanage’s newest arrivals, Duma, a retired service dog.
Ever since the Duma arrived at the reserve, the two became instant best friends. They can often be found playing in their favorite spot – the sand pile. In addition to simply enjoying the other’s company, the duo likes running and playing fetch together.
Almost immediately, Ellie’s spirits lifted. He was happy again. Although it wasn’t the elephant herd he needed, the staff hopes that the new friendship would be enough to keep Ellie in high spirits.
To watch the full story of Ellie and Duma, click the video below!
You will definitely smile in no time!
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